Form is vital for runners. We often don’t pay attention to it enough because it is easy to skip, but it can really reduce your risk of injury and can help make your running more efficient and fluent.
I have always struggled with landing too much on my heels. This puts more stress on you femur (surprise surprise) and can increase your risk of injury.
The key to your form is that you want to land mid-foot. Don’t go crazy and try to change your form over night, because that too can lead to injury the key is to slowly incorporate form drills and your form will naturally get better.
If you want to see how you are supposed to land, try speed work or sprinting. Your body naturally does correct form when you are sprinting and it will help to give you an idea of how you are supposed to land.
I thought I would share these with you, because they are great for any runner coming back form injury or not. I try to do these each day and then when I am on my easy runs (which all of mine are right now) I try to focus on my form. An added benefit to focusing on your form, it takes your mind or your distance and the time goes by much quicker!
1. Inclined Knee to Chest
This move is very simple, in fact all of these are.
You stand with your hands against a wall and your legs far out behind you. You will almost be in what is consider “plank” form against the wall. You want to keep your back straight.
Keeping one leg on the floor bring one of your legs up towards your chest. As you bring it back down make sure to let your foot rest right back beside the other and land on your mid-foot. Repeat on both sides.
I typically will do about 12 on each side at a time.
This is a simple drill and it is mostly about muscle memory. You want your muscles to get used to landing the same way each time. As you get better at it you will no longer need to look at the floor.
2. Alternating Standing “High Knee” (with or without weights)
This goes along with the pervious one as it is again about muscle memory.
During this drill I will typically use weights and alternate bicep curls while performing the drill to add in strength training, but you can easily do it without.
You alternate bringing your knee up to about hip level and moving the other arm in a running motion. Just think of mimicking the running motion but very slowly.
3. Walking High Knees
One of the popular running drills is the high knees. I wasn’t able to do the normal drill during my recovery simply because of the amount of force that would come down on my leg.
Walking high knees is the same as the normal running form drill, but instead of quick high knees I simple slow them down and then do them while walking.
These aren’t as detailed and effective as your normal running drills, but when injured or trying to take its easy on your legs these can be a great replacement!
Do you do running drills?
Which ones do you typically do?
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