3 Proven Ways to Improve Your Running Technique
by Gesa Bohn
Running is our sport. Running fascinates all age groups, all levels and all nationalities. Running unites. Runners love the feeling of freedom.
I am a long-distance runner tackling every distance from 5K to marathon and running with nature in cross country and trail races. I have been running my whole life and recently finished as Germany’s fastest corporate runner.
I love to challenge myself, so I started coaching to offer running technique courses to sports enthusiasts wishing to run easier and feel stronger. A clean technique helps you save energy, get faster and reduce the risks of injury. Today I will share with you three ways to improve your technique. Remember that small steps count! Try out these tips and exercises and do them regularly to really feel a difference in your running style.
1. Your running posture
Correct body posture plays a key role in running efficiently. Remind yourself to run tall. Your upper body is straight and your abdominals and butt are tight. Your eyes look straight ahead. Your arms provide power and rhythm during your run, so make sure they swing close to your body at an angle of almost 90 degrees. Your shoulders are low and relaxed.
What helps me is to double check my body position during my easy runs. Depending on the area you want to focus on, you can provide your subconscious mind with thoughts like “my shoulders are relaxed” or “my arms swing close to my upper body.” Focus on one area at a time and check it frequently.
2. Strengthen your core
I always tell my runners how important strength training is and how much you can gain if you train your core and your glutes regularly. Just five minutes a day can help to provide stability around your hips, pelvis and trunk area and to prevent injuries. I do specific running core routines in the mornings and I feel they have helped me to improve my running performance and reduce injury. A nice side effect is it helps me to start my day fresh and wide awake!
Start incorporating these exercises into your daily routine. Start out by doing each exercise for one minute and three rounds. Step-by-step you can add more exercises for your abdominals and your core and you will see how a stronger body impacts your running technique.
3. Implement ABC drills/coordination
ABC drills are exercises that focus on specific movements to improve your running technique and coordination. The better our muscles work together, the more efficiently and effectively you can run.
I do various drills after warming up with my runners, and I want to show you three of those exercises. Start by implementing the drills once a week. Repeat each exercise two to three times for 20-30 meters.
- Butt kickers: Stand straight and start with easy running. Bring one heel towards your glutes and then switch to the other side. Kick your butt with every stride. You can use active running arms or hold your arms still next to your body.
- Straight-leg run: This exercise might make you laugh, but it improves your running coordination and promotes your mid-foot strike. Keep your legs and your upper body straight. Point your toes upward. Make sure you land on your forefoot. Your arms swing easily next to your body.
- High-knee drills: Start practicing on the spot. Lift your knees high to a 90-degree angle. Start to get a feeling for the movement. Once you are in the flow, start running. Keep focusing on high knees and running tall and light. Lean forward slightly.
What are you waiting for? Lace up your running shoes and try them out!
About Gesa Bohn:
Gesa Bohn is a semi-professional runner and health enthusiast. She loves to empower and motivate others to live their best version of a healthy lifestyle. She is Germany’s fastest corporate runner and has successfully competed in various cross country, 10K and half marathon races. Her dream came true when she competed in the World Championships in Mountain Running. She works as a business facilitator at adidas and enjoys bringing her athletic mindset to the corporate world. Additionally, Gesa teaches running courses with a focus on getting faster, running easier and feeling stronger. “My passion is running and I love coaching others to see how they follow through on their goals, getting faster and just having fun being active.” Connect with me on Instagram gesaboh.