Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Recent Posts

Archived Posts

Daily Training Log

Running With Proper Form to Avoid Injury and Increase Performance - The Lunch Hour Athlete

Training Log For: 10/09/09

Hill Running -- Mike - 1 hour
Running -- Yvonne - 6mi 1hr
Weight Lifting -- Matthew - 1 hr

Posted by Mike

One of the most important elements of training is exactly how you do it. From beginners to professionals, form is essential. It's something that I didn't buy in to for a long time until I started making some recommended adjustments and saw almost immediate improvements. Of course now I am completely sold and still try to find tweaks to improve my running. Running is still putting one foot in front of the other, but whether you're running a marathon or sprinting 100 meters there are different ways to run as well as train for them.

Find the right shoes. The right pair of shoes will help you to avoid injuries. Your running stride is should be flat. When your foot touches the ground, you don't want your foot to come down or leave the ground at a horizontal angle. You can see this by having a video camera hooked up to a treadmill and it will show you your angles. If you run with your feet landing at an angle, it will put more tension on different muscles within your foot and leg. In the short term this is not a big deal and you probably won't even notice. But if you're making running a regular activity, running with the wrong form will make you more prone to injury because of the extra tension on your muscles. Different shoes are designed to have different angles in the soles so that it can help correct the angle that your feet land and push off of the ground.

The right shoes will also let you run faster and longer. When you run with the right form, you will spread the workload evenly throughout your legs and each individual muscle will be able to use less energy. Therefore you will essentially be able to run the same speed & distance and use less energy. Depending on how much of an improvement in form, it will yield different results. I love my shoes but my natural stride before I got my adjusted shoes wasn't too far off and I hadn't injured myself running 'the wrong way', so my improvement in performance was fairly marginal but still I definitely noticed.

Once you've got the basic form of how your feet land and push off you can move on to more specific training. But running starts with your feet and move to your shoes. I'll talk more about running form in upcoming posts, but I thought I would start off my first post on the lunch hour athlete on the right foot. More bad jokes to come.