Elite Stair Climber and Marathon Runner


Proper Running Form

Optimizing your teknik dalam berlari is pivotal for achieving better speed, heightened efficiency, and overall comfort during each run. When you harness the power of the right running posture, you not only safeguard yourself from potential injuries but also stave off unnecessary fatigue. Dive into these guidelines to master the art of impeccable running form.

Focus on the Horizon

“Keep your gaze lifted and avoid the temptation to constantly watch your feet. Ideally, your sight should be directed towards the terrain roughly 10 to 20 feet in front of you. This isn’t just about maintaining the right running stance—it’s also about ensuring your safety. By focusing ahead, you can anticipate obstacles and reduce the risk of trips or falls.

Have you ever noticed your head leaning too far forward during your runs? Such a posture can strain your neck and shoulder muscles, resulting in unwanted discomfort. To check your alignment, ensure that your ears align directly above your shoulders’ midpoint.

Visualize running with the elegance of a marionette, your body elongated and poised, as if suspended by an invisible thread from above.

Maintain Hand Position Near Your Hips

“Ensure your hands hover close to your waist, positioned so they might just graze your hip as you run. It’s ideal to keep your arms bent in a 90-degree formation. New runners often inadvertently elevate their hands near their chest, especially as fatigue sets in.

Holding your arms in such an elevated manner might exacerbate your tiredness and soon, you could notice strain accumulating in your neck and shoulders. It’s worth noting that during sprints, the vigorous arm movement may naturally cause your hands to drive slightly upwards and back.”

Ensure Hand Relaxation

During your run, it’s essential to maintain a sense of ease in your hands and arms. Refrain from forming tight fists as this can create unnecessary tension. When you grip too tightly, the stress can propagate upwards, affecting your arms, shoulders, and even your neck.

Think of the optimal grip as a gentle clasp: Imagine cradling a fragile egg in each palm, ensuring not to apply too much pressure lest it breaks.

Uphold an Upright Stance

Adopt a poised and upright posture while running. Ensure that your head remains lifted, with your back aligned straight and shoulders even. Your shoulders should seamlessly align with your ears, and your pelvis should remain neutral. As fatigue sets in, be cautious not to tilt forward or backward from your waist.

Occasionally assess your posture during your run. Slouching, especially towards the end of a run, is a common mishap, potentially leading to discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and lumbar region. If you notice this, puff your chest out to correct the stance. Consider the benefits of zero drop running shoes, as they can aid in avoiding heel-strike running.

Remember, preserving optimal posture, even as you near the finish line, is crucial to combat weariness and conclude your run with vigor.

Ease Your Shoulder Tension

Ease Your Shoulder Tension

Ensure that your shoulders remain relaxed, squarely oriented forward, and devoid of any slouching. When shoulders are excessively rounded, it can cause the chest to constrict, hampering effective breathing. Breathing is facilitated when shoulders are kept at ease.

Ensure that your shoulders don’t rise up, nearing your ears. If they do, engage in an exercise: draw your shoulder blades together as though they are a pair of doors that need shutting. Once done, let your shoulders descend naturally.

During your run, intermittently reassess the position and relaxation of your shoulders. If you catch yourself in a shrug, resort to the aforementioned shoulder-blade technique to realign.

Hold Your Arms Close to Your Body

Resist the urge to let your arms swing too widely or across your body. Swinging arms across the chest can encourage poor posture, potentially causing inefficient breathing. This less-than-optimal breathing might result in painful side stitches or abdominal cramps.

As fatigue or stress sets in, many runners inadvertently lift their hands closer to their shoulders, narrowing the angle between the upper arm and forearm. Should you recognize this tendency, gently lower your arms and give them a brief shake. Then, reposition them so they form a 90-degree angle, ensuring your shoulders remain poised and stress-free.

Swing Arms Using Shoulder Momentum

Your arm movement should originate from the shoulder joints rather than the elbows. Visualize your arm functioning like a pendulum, effortlessly swinging from the shoulder. Propel your elbow behind you and then let it naturally swing forward.

As your arm transitions forward, your hand should come close to skimming your hip.

Ensure that your arms maintain a motion alongside your body. If they begin crossing your chest, they could drift upwards towards your shoulders, leading to an undesired hunched posture. This hunching can impede your breathing. Aim to have your arms swing in alignment, parallel to one another.

Picture a line vertically dividing your body down the center—your hands should never cross this imaginary boundary.”

Don’t Bounce

Excessive bouncing, or vertical oscillation, during your run indicates excessive up-and-down movement of your head and body. This not only saps your energy but also subjects your body to greater impact with each landing, potentially speeding up leg fatigue.

To reduce unnecessary vertical movement, adopt a gentle running approach, ensuring your feet touch the ground softly. Concentrate on maintaining your strides close to the ground, emphasizing swift stride transitions. Envision taking rapid, feather-light steps as if navigating across scorching sands.

Many seasoned runners and experts advocate for a cadence of 90, meaning your left foot should touch the ground 90 times in a minute, as this rate often characterizes efficient runners. Naturally, increasing your cadence often involves shortening your stride.

If you’re adjusting your cadence or foot strike, start with brief sessions. Initially, these alterations might feel awkward, so it’s essential not to overexert yourself. As you grow accustomed, you can incorporate these changes into longer durations of your run. Some leading sports watches, especially designed for women, come equipped with cadence tracking, enabling you to monitor and experiment with your stride frequency.

Fine-tune Your Running Form to Stay Injury-Free

If challenges persist stemming from improper running mechanics, considering a gait analysis might be beneficial. Often, a qualified physical therapist conducts this, examining parameters like your Z angle, a specific angle established between your hip and ankle during a run.

Determining Your Z Angle:

Capture a side profile image while you’re running, ideally when your rear foot remains grounded. One effective method to obtain such a snapshot is by taking a freeze-frame or screenshot from a video recording.

  1. Mark a line aligned with the upper edge of your pelvis, passing through your hip joint.
  2. Draw another line along your grounded leg, connecting your hip and ankle.
  3. Finally, trace a line originating from your ankle joint and extending through your toes.

With the right running posture, the resulting depiction should resemble the letter ‘Z’.

Addressing Incorrect Technique:

If the analysis highlights inconsistencies in your running style, it’s essential to modify your approach to minimize risks and prevent injuries.

If the angle at the ankle appears wider than the hip, it suggests potential tightness or a weakened state in the calf muscles. Targeted interventions, like towel calf stretches or anterior tibialis fortifying exercises, might be beneficial.

Conversely, a larger angle at the hip compared to the ankle can indicate compromised hip extension. Initiatives such as hip flexor stretching or focused hip strengthening can prove effective in refining your technique.

Consult a Healthcare Professional:

Should you continue to experience discomfort potentially tied to your running dynamics, it’s prudent to seek counsel from a medical practitioner or a physical therapist. These professionals can diagnose the root cause of your distress, rule out possible injuries, and prescribe suitable remedial measures or exercises.

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