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Excerises for form

Answered By Jeff Arbogast


Hey coaches, i need some help with my running form/stride. i know its hard to help me without actually seeing me in action, but i was wondering if you knew any drills or exercises that would help strengthen it and increase its efficiency -thanks


Several directions here . . . First, running form is a bit fluid from person to person. Think of Zatopek or Prefontaine and others who had unique styles yet large amounts of success. Mileage and just running will cause the body to search for its own efficient form, to a certain degree. Obviously there can be fundamental flaws that hinder stride length or rapidity, and those DO need to be addressed, but as you mentioned, it is tough without seeing. Overall, think about several things in form. First, the smaller levers of the arms provide the power and frequency to the legs. Don't neglect upper body strength work as that will be critical to turnover and stride length. Next, think about how you cycle your legs/feet. if your footplant is in front of your center of gravity (basically your stomach), you MUST be braking on impact. This is what many call 'overstriding'. Lastly, your footplant should be off the heel. Try to land on the midfoot and keep as much of the heel off the ground (during high velocity running) as possible. Keep fingers and hands relaxed in order to relax the arms. Keep your bottom jaw loose and bouncing in order to keep the shoulders relaxed. Focus 30-40 meters out in front when you can in order to 'run tall' and keep the chest open to breathe. Weightwork that emphasizes flexibility and range of motion will be helpful, done on a 48-72 hour interval and NOT to muscular failure. But . .for drills, it's probably best to have a local instructor see you and offer help, or get yourself videotaped and 'split-screen' it with a tape of a functionally stylistic runner. There are also several tapes that discuss form and drills that could apply to your style.

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