Where Rubber Meets the Road: Running Notes from Coach Courtney

What many people don’t realize about running is that you have to learn proper form. Just like with learning how to Deadlift or doing anything with a barbell, having proper form ensures more injury prevention and enables you to lift heavier weight (or to run further). Fortunately we hosted a seminar in July that taught proper running form (and a few other helpful running tips) and I wanted to share a few takeaways for those who didn’t get a chance to attend.

Takeaway #1 If I can teach you anything about running, it’s going to be where your foot is while hitting the ground. Many people strike the ground with their heel (also called heel striking) which locks out all of their joints from hip to ankle and can put 3x their body weight directly into those joints. To combat this, try to hit the ground with your forefoot (the padded part of your foot just before your toes).
Takeaway #2 Increase your cadence! Many runners run with a cadence of about 165 steps per minute or less. The goal should be to increase that to around 180 steps per minute. A quicker turnover means your form will likely improve because you will have less time to heel strike. Which as I mentioned above, is terrible for your joints!
Takeaway #3 Finally keep your chest and eyes up and shoulders-arms-hands relaxed. Many people tense up when they run and start to hunch, which causes them to have less room to bring air in and get a full breath, which is important when you are running! The more you can relax and not hunch, the better off your form and the less painful your run will be.  
Hopefully some of these takeaways can help to quickly improve your running form. If you’d like more of this information (including why these things work, and motivation to get yourself to run more) we will also host another seminar sometime this fall! Happy running Iron Athletes!