Proper Running Form

Apparently my life just got really busy — busier than when I was just running for hours each day and working.  Imagine that?  Between physical therapy, attempting to run, my full-time job, and trying to get comfortable enough to teach body sculpt classes… I haven’t had the time (or drive) to update.

Physical therapy went much better this week!  I did my warm-ups without the physical therapy assistant (thank God) and then the doctor and doctor-to-be decided it was time for me to learn proper running form.  Fabulous!

The good thing is I already know about proper running form so none of this is news to me.  I just suck at doing it.  Here’s what I learned though, in case you’re unfamiliar:

  • Keep core tight, upper body straight, leaning slightly forward
  • Push off with your feet, don’t “pull” the ground
  • Strike with your mid-foot and let your heel fall to the ground from gravity
  • Your arms should drive you — the important part of swinging your arms is bringing your arm behind you to give the momentum forward

We started by marching in place, similar to high knees but not that high.  The concentration here is on lifting your leg straight and when your foot comes down, striking with the mid-foot and letting your heel fall due to gravity.

Then we began ankleing.  Ankling.  Ankle-ing?  I’m sure it’s not a technical dictionary term anyways… basically, just pick up the pace to the 180 or so cadence.  Thankfully, this is my natural running cadence already and it felt comfortable.

Next, we move forward.  Quick and short steps which are concentrating on still keeping legs moving forward and not pulling the ground, but pushing off of it.  We aren’t running here, still just ankle-ing and slowly moving forward.

Then (and to me this is a little backwards) we concentrating on one legged ankle-ing.  Essentially one leg stays straight (not really locking the knee though) and the other ankles you forward.  This forces you to push off the ground.  We switched legs.

And that’s that.

I hadn’t run since that Monday, at least not until today.  I did only about a mile, but I started off by going through the same process.  Then I would run around a 10:00 pace and go back to one legged ankle-ing, then ankle-ing forward, then running.  I don’t think I was heeling striking the entire time, but my left side of my body still sucks.

When doing the one legged ankle-ing, if my left leg is the straight one and my right is pushing off… it’s easy and feels great.  The left leg though?  Not so much.  I noticed it when I was running today, too, and even on Sunday when I went out for a run before learning all of this… I practice mid-foot striking and my right foot felt great, but the left just didn’t seem as smooth.  Though, that’s what I’m in physical therapy for anyways… my left side sucks.

It still sucks to run, anyways.  I’m exhausted.  I really have to get back into it though… which is my plan basically now.  I’m doing the Color Run next Saturday as my first race back and since it’s not really a “race”, I will be sure to light jog the entire way.  It’s the perfect opportunity to focus on my form.  Starting this Tuesday though, I’m getting in some doubles which is pretty exciting.  Morning runs and afternoon weights — I’ll be back before I know it (I hope).


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Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

One thought on “Proper Running Form”

  1. People have lives outside of blogging? I often forget that happens. Ha kidding. I hate to hear that running isn’t going as well as you’d like but you will come back stronger. Have a great rest of the weekend and hopefully a tad more relaxing. 🙂


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