Get your posture right when running and the rest will follow. In this latest article on technique, I want to talk about the correct body position when running.
Three things to focus on:
You should be upright
You want a slight lean forwards.
Head and face need to be relaxed
The forwards lean is really important when running, however a lot of people get this wrong. The lean starts at the ankles, not at the waist. We want to avoid the 'head down arse up' posture that a lot of runners end up in. If you collapse in the middle it not only compromises your breathing, but it makes driving your knee up a lot harder, and makes it harder to get good extension from the back leg and this means your running will be inefficient.
Avoiding the collapse in the middle is one of the hardest things to master as a runner. To do it, you need to have really strong Gluteal muscles, make sure there is no tightness in the hip flexors and be aware of your body position.
As you can see in these 3 images, we have the correct body position in the middle, with the ‘Back Seat’ Runner on the left and the ‘Head Forward’ runner on the right. This is an over exaggeration of what you're are looking for, but it should give you an idea of what sort of body position you are getting into.
You'll often be told to run tall, what this means is to run tall from the hips, so you aren't sitting down on them. Correcting it isn't as easy as just deciding to be taller! If you spend a good 4 months working on your posture, you'll start to see a difference.
As you fatigue, you'll see more and more 'sinking' in the hips - just stand at mile 20 of any marathon and you'll notice this for yourself. The better runners are the ones able to stay taller through those hips.
The head position is another really important factor in your running posture. Keeping your gaze focused on the horizon, and not 2 feet in front of you, will certainly help avoid any tipping forward. Keeping the head as still as possible will also really help.
Relaxing your face will reduce tension that you are carrying, allowing you to get into a better rhythm.
Everything hangs on your body, so if you have flaws here, it'll make any other changes a lot hard to affect, so get it right.