Let’s Review: Running Form

You’ve been out logging the miles, pounding the pavement, but when was the last time you thought about your form? Everyone’s running form will look a little different. The mechanics of your body while running is determined by your flexibility, your muscle strength, and your body’s proportions. Even if you’re currently running comfortably and are happy with your results, some major benefits can come from improving your form:

Reduced Risk of Injury

Nearly 80% of runners experience some kind of injury every year. Good form helps you utilize your body evenly and effectively, ensuring that you’re not neglecting one group of muscles/joints or putting extra strain on another.

Higher Efficiency 

Put simply, high efficiency means more miles with less energy. Checking in on your form can allow you to enjoy the run more and go farther.

Increased Speed

When you combine better efficiency and healthier muscles and joints, you’ll see an improvement in your pace. Those who consider adjustments to their form often find they can push the pace.

Knowing this, you’re probably eager to find ways to tweak your running form. Here are the basics to consider:

Lean Angle

Think about the angle of your torso and legs as you run. Are you bending at the hips and leaning your torso and head forward? This common example of poor form. Here’s how to improve: lean at the ankles. Your body should stay in alignment together from your contact with the ground, creating a clean line from legs, to hips, to chest, to head. 

Arm Position

Consider where your arms sit and how they move while you run. Are you holding your arms low? Do they travel far when they swing with each stride? These are examples of poor form while running. Here’s how to improve: Keep the bend in your elbows at a 90-degree angle or tighter. As you swing your arms, check that they are brushing your sides (indicating that you’re holding them in close to your body.) A slight swing is great, but make sure your elbow or wrists don’t completely cross the line of your body.


Where do you look when you run? Are you gazing down at your shoes or in the couple feet ahead of you? This means you could improve your sightline while running. Here’s how: aim to keep your gaze about 20-30 feet in front of you.

Need more assistance with your running form? Curious about other ways you could step up your running game? Our coaches can provide testing, analysis, and training plans that will help you make the most of your miles. Contact Science of Speed today.

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