Training for the Marathon? Here’s how to improve your time and performance

Many of our patients are training for the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon. Good running form can help to improve your performance and help you reach your next PR. Here are some simple tips to help you find your optimal running form.

1. Where is your base of support?

The first question to ask yourself is, “where are my feet falling relative to my hips?” Some people tend to run with their feet too close to the midline. This might cause the knees to brush or knock.

If your feet land directly under your hips (not too narrow or wide) you have more ability to efficiently use your hip muscles. If your feet are too narrow, it makes it harder for the hip muscles to support you.

2. Where are your feet falling when you land?

We often get asked, “which part of the foot should you land on?” However, it’s more important to notice how far in front of your hips your foot is landing. If your foot lands way ahead of your body, it can cause you to overuse your hamstrings and make it harder for your core to be active while you’re running.

For good running form, the optimal position is leaning slightly forward as though you’re running into the wind. With this form, your foot will land underneath or slightly in front of you. Additionally, when you swing your leg back, you will be able to use your hip muscles more efficiently.

3. What’s your arm position?

Your arms should be swinging in the same direction that you’re moving (front to back). Often people run with their elbows sticking out to the sides or the arms cross the body. Even though the trunk has a rotation, it’s important to keep the arms moving in the same plane your body is moving. This is the most efficient way for your body to work.

Questions about your running form?

Click here to schedule a complimentary phone consultation with one of our physical therapist to discuss your running form.

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