When you start out as a brand new runner, there are so many things to think about: your shoes, your running route, even perfecting your “pump up” playlist. But before you let this list pile up, there are certain things you just can’t neglect, like proper running form. So, if you’re just starting out, this post is for you. Keep reading as Peloton Tread instructor Becs Gentry breaks down safe running form for beginners by addressing common mistakes and easy corrections to work towards a proper stride.
Mistake: Beginners often try to do too much too soon–this can lead to injury from overuse of muscles and joints that previously may have been dormant for a while.
Solution: “A new runner should start with moderate goals and gently ease into running; steady controlled progress will be the progress that never stops!” says Becs
Mistake: Beginners can look to very experienced and advanced runners to try to copy their exact running form and style without taking into consideration experience, body type and speed.
Solution: “Know that as speed increases your body will naturally allow you to move off your toes as you run to turn over the ground quicker,” says Becs.
Mistake: Neglecting your strength training.
Solution: “Beginners need to head to a gym and work on leg strength–strengthening quads and hamstrings is key to achieving a powerful leg drive and overall strong running form.”
Mistake: Holding too much tension in your body.
Solution: “Avoid holding too much tension in the body whilst simultaneously keeping a little tension–it is something that comes from practice. A great way to start to understand this balance is to listen to your breath and focus on keeping calm when you run.”
Mistake: Letting your arms cross over your chest while you run, or not moving your arms at all.
Solution: “During proper running form, your shoulders are back and down away from your earlobes and your arms should have a 90-degree bend at the elbow and drive forward and backward as you move.”
Mistake: Running with your tailbone out and your back arched.
Solution: “Your core is engaged but not super tense and your hips are tucked under your body–think ‘naughty dog’ tucking its tail between its legs to cue this!”
Mistake: Forcing your body weight onto your toes before you have the speed to get your legs turning over quickly.
Solution: “Every step you should be lifting your knees and feet, driving your movement forwards, as your speed elevates you will naturally move forward to the ball of your foot and push off your toes as you run, flicking your heels up under your torso towards your glutes.”