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:

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