By Kelly Sweeney, SPT
- Be light on your heels. This doesn’t mean you have to run on your toes, but you should have quick transitions from your heels to your toes.
- Keep your strike under your hips. You want to strike under your center of mass. Prevent over striding by keeping your ankle almost behind your knee as you strike the ground. This will reduce excessive impact and braking forces.
- Run with a slight forward lean of the body. Having a slight forward trunk lean (5-10 degrees) allows you to “fall” forward rather than having to pull yourself forward, which requires extra effort. But don’t lean forward too much. You don’t want to hunch over at the waist or shoulders.
- Strike softly with a slight toe out. Also, relax your hands and shoulders. Tension in the upper body wastes energy.
- Keep a quick tempo. In order to minimize contact time and help prevent injury, increase your tempo. A recommended cadence is 88-90 strides/minute or 180 steps per minute.
As with any exercise, remember to stay hydrated, pace yourself, and listen to your body. Consult with your healthcare team if you have any questions or concerns.
Walsh, M. The Running Athlete: Part B- Clinical Assessment and Rehabilitation. MedBridge Continuing Education Online Course. http://www.medbridgeeducation.com. Accessed January 2015.