Ever wondered if your running form could use a little tune-up? The good news is, if you’re pain-free, breathing like a champ, and hitting your distance/pace goals, you might be in the sweet spot.

However, there’s always room for improvement, especially if you’re aiming to boost your efficiency and performance on the road.

In the world of long-distance running, once fatigue sets in, your form can deteriorate and you can lose efficiency. See my 4 self assessments you can do to check in on your from, from top-to-bottom.

1. Head Position

Should be over shoulders/neutral neck alignment. Improper neck posture can cause upper back/neck pain during and after your run.

🔍What to look for:

Are your ears in front of your shoulders?

**Ok I know this one is harder to self assess but use your spatial awareness to feel where your ears are when running!**

🚀How to improve:

Keep your shoulders relaxed and your ears aligned with your shoulders.

 

2. Arm Movement

Swing should be Front to Back, not Side to Side. Excessive arm movement comes at the cost of energy expenditure. And when you are trying to go farther or faster, you need all the energy you can get!

🔍What to look for:

Is there unnecessary side-to-side movement?

🚀How to improve:

Hands shouldn’t cross the center of your body. Keep those arms moving front to back efficiently.

 

3. Torso – Aligning the Core

As with the head alignment, improper torso alignment can cause back pain. In addition, this can cause other misalignments as you move down the body through the hips, pelvic floor, knees, ankles, heels and feet.

🔍What to look for:

Is the top of your pelvis tilted forward/tailbone pointing upward and not straight behind you?

🚀How to improve:

Think: “Ribs over hips” and tuck your pelvis for a solid core alignment. Another cue here if you have this anterior tilt to your pelvis, is to think of your hips leading your body. It won’t actually be far out in front, but it is a mental thought that can help keep your torso aligned.

 

4. Feet – Landing under Your Center of Mass

When your feet are landing out in front of you, your hips, knees, and ankles are taking each landing force at suboptimal angles, which can lead to achy joints.

🔍What to look for:

Can you see your feet while running?

🚀How to improve:

Shorten your stride so that your feet are landing underneath your hips.

There you have it, runners! A comprehensive guide to self-assessing and enhancing your running form. Remember, it’s all about those subtle adjustments to amplify your efficiency and performance.

 

If you’re curious about your own running form or want personalized insights, we’ve got your back at Chesapeake Running Academy!

Our team is here to help you run stronger and smarter. If you’re interested in a professional check-up of your form, or any of our other services, you can see all the services we offer, including virtual or in-person (Annapolis area) form assessments!

Lace-up, hit the pavement, and let’s unlock your stride potential together!

We’re just a click away from helping you reach your running goals.