Running Technique 101: Part 1

There are a few running basics that every runner should be familiar with:

Shoes- There is nothing better than finding the perfect running shoe, but how do you determine what the right shoe is for you? As much as I would love to give you specific guidelines to lead you directly to your perfect pair, it is not that simple. In fact, matching  foot type to a particular type of shoe has shown over and over again to be an oversimplified and ineffective way to determine what running shoes are best for each individual. The key to running shoe shopping is comfort! To learn more read “Shoes: A Runners Best Friend” .

Sound- You can learn a lot about your running gait by listening to the sound of your feet hit the ground. Do you hear a consistent rhythmic pattern? Are you landing loudly for all to hear? Is one foot strike more audible than the other? Take the earbuds out the next time you run and listen. The goal is to hear symmetrical, consistent, rhythmic and quiet landing.

Step Rate (aka cadence)- One of the the most important factors to reducing pain during running and your risk for injury is adjusting your cadence. The goal is to land under your center of gravity to allow joints and muscles to most effectively accept load.  To learn more read “The Foot Strike Debate: Does It Matter?”

Strike- Foot strike is a hot topic for many runners. No one seems to want the dreaded heel strike and are in favor of the midfoot and forefoot strike (flatfooted and on your toes). There are dangers of quickly trying to adapt your foot strike. Does having a midfoot or forefoot strike make long distance runners faster, more efficient, and less prone to injury, and is making the switch worth the risk? The short answer would be no. To learn more read “The Foot Strike Debate: Does It Matter?”