The Second P of Running Form: Position

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Position simply refers to the change of position your body makes from a standing pose with proper posture to an athletic ready position.  Anyone who was in sports when they were learning fundamentals during their youth was taught the ready or athletic position.  Think about a defender on a baskeball court, a defensive or offensive back on a football field, a volley ball player, a short stop or second baseman in baseball or softball, or a soccer player.  These are just to name a few, but the ready position is the stance a player takes right before action.  It is the positon to be in for the quickest, explosive reaction to any stimuli so that the player may jump up, right, left, forward, back, or begin a hard run or sprint when necessary.

The form for an athletic position is as follows.  Start with good posture: the first P.  Then bend the ankles, knees and waist keeping good posture and good alignment within the body.  The bend should be about 30 degrees from straight.  You should be able to feel it in your body where the optimal positon should be based on how much power you will obtain if you need to spring into action.  If you bend everything too far, it's too much work for your body to spring.  If you don't bend far enough then you may as well have not bent at all in the first place.

Remembering everything from the first P to remain true, Position is one of the most important P's in terms of gaining speed, efficiency, and injury prevention.  If you remember to push through your stride with your glutes in proper position, then you will have more power and more speed.  Keeping a ready position and good posture throughout a run will help maintain and prevent injury.  If you remember to keep a low center of gravity during a run this will make you more efficient because you won't have as much wind resistance since you will be a little shorter and you won't have as much vertical oscillation, or springing upward instead of forward.

The way that you will be able to feel it the most when you are running is from your hips, so it makes sense to focus on your hips as you run so that you keep them low and in a ready position.  Think about sticking your butt out a little, but not too far (we're not trying to flaunt anything).  Remember to have a slight backward bend in your back to maintain proper positiion and posture.  Hope this will help with your running form.  Tune in next week for the 3rd P.  Below is a video from Newton Running Co.'s Own Ian Adamson.  Have a great remainder to your week!  Remember to always Go Faster and Keep Smiling! (30 seconds)

Go Faster and Keep Smiling!

Coach Larsen

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