How Do You Identify Your Running Technique?
12 February 2022 | Category: Running Technique Advice
A lot of people don’t take the time to be fully aware of what their body is doing while they are running. Self-awareness and feeling how you move is a vital first step in the Balanced Runner system. In the below video and in this article, we break down how to work through each part of your body and feel what is doing while you are running, and how to feel your own movement pattern.
What we are trying to do here is to give you a framework to think about your technique and your movement patterns. These questions will give you a better understanding of:
- How are you moving?
- What does it feel like?
- What are you doing when you are running?
So, first thing to think about (this isn’t the traditional starting point…):
How am I holding my arms?
- What position are they in relation to my body?
- Are left and right making the same movement?
- Are left and right in the same position?
- Think about the angle of the elbow – is it open or closed?
- Again on the angle of the elbow – what is the gap between the elbow and the rib?
Once you have a thorough feel for what you are naturally doing with your arms, and you have an awareness of your normal arm carry when you run, the next thing to think about;
How am I holding my shoulders?
- Are my shoulders high and I uptight?
- Are they low?
- Are they rounded?
- Are they pulled back?
- What position am I holding my shoulders in and do I have any tension?
Again, make sure you have felt how you naturally hold your shoulders when running, and then move onto the next part;
What position is my torso in?
- Is my chest out?
- Is my back arched?
- Am I rounded?
- Am I holding tension?
How am I breathing?
- Is my breathing high and shallow?
- Is it through the diaphragm?
- Or is it shared and open?
- Is it controlled and relaxed?
Next, down into the lower part of the body.
What is happening with my legs?
- Are they moving in time or is one leg leading?
- Are they making the same movement or is one kicking higher (left or right)?
What about my feet?
- Where am I landing?
- What does my landing feel like?
- Is my timing even or can I feel a difference between left and right?
You can use this activity during any run, particularly any easy run. Once you have gone through all of these steps and questions, you should start to have a really good feel of how you are moving, where you can relax, where you can release tension and where you can try to make even movements between the left and right side of the body.
This self-awareness portion is the very first step in The Balanced Runner program, and having a self-awareness will allow some runners to make some improvements straight away, but more importantly it also gives you a baseline of your current technique so that when you begin the gait re-training process you can feel the difference in your movement and it allows you to correct and self-coach along the way. For more information on the gait re-training portion, check out our Membership Options.
Once you’ve been through this self-awareness exercise, make sure you take a deep breath, smile and enjoy the rest of the run!
Check out more articles, podcast appearances and running technique tips:
Cadence in running is so poorly used and in most cases poorly understood.For those wondering, cadence is the number of steps taken within a minute. It is an outcome…
Broadsheet Feature Article: The Science To Help You Become a Better Runner 3 June 2023 | Category: Running Technique AdviceThis article originally appeared in Broadsheet in May 2023 as a feature between Paul MacKinnon and Puma Nitro. Photography by...
The Ultimate Running Form Episode with the Strength Running Podcast 10 May 2023 | Category: PodcastPaul joined Jason Fitzgerald on the Strength Running Podcast for a great chat about everything running & running form. This podcast appearance...
I have been lucky enough to work with Galen Rupp a few times over the past year as he looked to get back to his best for the marathon, find out some of the key learnings.
I’ve been working with Brett Robinson for a little while now and a few weeks ago in the lead up to the Fukuoka Marathon we recorded the session to give some insight into Brett’s focus.
This is just a very short breakdown of the form of the Ingebrigtsen brothers while they jog together.
Paul has been working with both Brett and Joel over the past couple of years to improve their technique and their performance, so the boys invited him on to one of the Question & Answer episodes of the Podcast.
If you have followed Paul for a while, you will know that he likes to have a bit of fun at the expense of the idea of a strength program improving your running technique. In this discussion with Exercise Scientist Nick Jankovskis we take the chance to explore where strength training does improve running and where it does not.
There are many common misconceptions around running and running technique. We are here to break down some common ones. Do drills, strength work and activation help your running technique?
I saw this video recently and thought it was a great opportunity to highlight the difference movement can make to running at top speed.
If you’ve been following for a while you’ll know I don’t use cadence as a cue, but it is a good indicator. In this case Paul Chelimo is 204 and Luis Orta is 240.
The timing of your movement is critical when running. This article outlines how to think about this and the affect it can have on injury. Running in time on your left and right side is a vital aspect of becoming a balanced runner.
Paul and Brenton connected a little while ago over the similarities of their methodology and disruption of technique coaching, hence Brenton’s name for this podcast is ‘The Effortless Swimming of Running’, or as we might call it, Paul joined ‘The Balanced Runner of Swimming’!
How do you hold your shoulders when you are running? In this summary, we outline the common issues with tension in shoulders that many runners exhibit and how to switch off or open up your shoulders and the impact it can have.
The Dusty Allen show is borne on the premise that extraordinary stories are everywhere, you just need to know where to find them. Listen to the chat between Paul and Dusty.
Watch the Triathlon Victoria Performance Centre series, where Paul joined a host of other high-level coaches to discuss various aspects of performance running.
Find out why all runners should listen to their feet and their ground contact when running on a wet or loose surface.
The Inside Running Podcast Featuring Paul Mackinnon Article | 28/1/2020 | Category: PodcastAfter working with Julian Spence on his technique over the last few months, Paul joins him for a chat about running, life and his philosophy of running...
Maximising running technique with the Athlete’s Garage Podcast Article | 20 December 2019 | Category: PodcastThe Athlete’s Garage is a podcast by The Motion Mechanic and Paul joined them in November 2019 to discuss everything about running...
Who Taught You to Run? With METS Performance ConsultingPaul joins the team from METS Performance Consulting on the Physiology Secrets podcast to discuss running technique and the potential impact it has on performance for all athletes.Have you ever...
Triathlon Taren Podcast InterviewPaul joined Triathlon Taren for a video based session to review his technique and then an interview on his Podcast. You can listen below and check out more of Taren’s work at https://mymottiv.com/ or on YouTube at...
Runner Chats with Paul Mackinnon A laid back chat about life and running with Pete and Nathan from Runner Chats. Ranging from everything from hockey to Run the Bay Relay and a little bit of technique. Check out the podcast below or the rest of...
Zero to Half-Marathon in 4 Months 3 May 2018 | Category: Running Technique AdviceThis article was first featured in Men’s Fitness Magazine. Paul MacKinnon, aka the balanced runner, gives us some simple tips on how to get from the couch to a half...
Post from Spoonful of Sarah: The one fix that changed my running life This post is originally from Spoonful of Sarah – The one fix that changed my running life by Sarah HollowayAs you may also know, running is not my exercise of choice both because...
5 Ways to Improve Your 10km Time 16 May 2017 | Category: Running Technique AdviceThis article was originally featured in Body + Soul as part of the lead up to Run Melbourne. Check out the article here. To a non-runner, the thought of running 10...