If you’re in the middle of a training cycle, now is not the time to overhaul your stride. Big running form changes should happen in the off-season. For example, if you want to go from landing on your heel to your forefoot, it is best to do that between training seasons.
One reason you do not want to make a huge running form change while training for a race is you temporarily become less efficient. This means your body has to work harder than it did before to do the same amount of work. While training for a race you want to be efficient as possible.
However, there are small tweaks you can start to incorporate right now that don’t include a complete overhaul of your running form.
Making changes to your running form even though they are small takes time. Don’t spend you’re entire long run focusing on your running form, but instead spend the first and last few minutes of your run thinking about what you’re doing. Work on making these changes on a regular basis and after a few months these things will become second nature.
Here are four simple running form changes you can work on right now!
- Relax your shoulders—Tensing your shoulders, neck or upper back muscles such as the trapezius waste energy and can cause tension headaches.
- Take slightly shorter steps—The ideal running cadence is 180-200 steps per minute. If you aren’t within this range, make a conscious effort to take smaller, quicker steps.
- Swing your arms—Make sure your arms are moving in a forward and backward motion and aren’t just moving because your torso is rotating.
- Keep your eyes on the horizon—Set your sights forward and avoid looking at the ground. Keeping your eyes on the road ahead of you will improve your posture and make sure you’re alert to any oncoming traffic.