The fact is, if you are serious about reaching your full potential, you’ll need to imitate the strategies of those on top—no need to reinvent the wheel. By training like a pro runner, you’ll be able, without a shadow of a doubt, to achieve your running best.

But, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not suggesting that you should imitate the elites in everything they do—It’s not possible anyway.

“By training like a pro runner, you’ll be able, without a shadow of a doubt, to achieve your running best.”


TORSO

Pull your stomach in and keep your torso straight rather than twisting it as you move. Keeping your body very upright  is the most effective way to run. Run as though you’re pulling your head as tall as you can to give you a better range of movement. This stance is great for your overall posture and you’re far less likely to get injured.

BACK AND SHOULDERS

Keep your back upright and straight with your shoulders relaxed and down. Leaning backwards or forwards as you run will create tension in your lower back, and although leaning forwards can sometimes make you go faster, it will use up more energy, too.

KNEES

Your legs should move smoothly, with your knees slightly raised and loose, so they can bend easily as your feet hit the floor and absorb the impact. If you pick up your speed, you’ll need to raise your knees higher, too.

FEET

Aim to strike the ground with the balls of your feet, rather than landing on your heels or, worse still, scuffing the floor with your feet. You will rarely have both of your feet on the ground at the same time when you run, so your foot strike should be firm with enough strength in your calves and ankles to take the weight of your body.

HEAD

Don’t be tempted to look at your feet when you run. Keep your head upright and straight, focusing your eyes on the ground about 10ft to 15ft in front of you.

HANDS

Although most athletics coaches will tell you not to clench your fists, it’s important that you do what you find most comfortable, otherwise you’ll waste your energy and concentration worrying about how to hold your hands. Many athletes run with open palms because it’s believed to be better for resistance, but if you prefer to cup your hands lightly, that’s ok, too.

ARMS

Don’t let them swing from side to side across the front of your torso, as this will affect your breathing and tire you out much quicker. Instead, relax, bend your elbows at right angles and just let your arms swing backwards and forwards naturally in the opposite motion to your legs. So if your right leg is going forward, your right arm will swing backwards.

In addition to these

Good News: A good warm-up is key to athletic performance. It increases breathing rate, heart rate, and boosts blood flow to the working muscles, increasing performance and getting the body ready for the activity ahead.

Consequently, feel free to learn from the pros but don’t get over ambitious about it. Instead, be realistic and set achievable—yet challenging—goals without going overboard; otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself for a huge setback. (Check this post on how to set the right running goals).

Consequently, feel free to learn from the pros but don’t get over ambitious about it. Instead, be realistic and set achievable—yet challenging—goals without going overboard.

To run effectively, you need to hold every part of your body in the correct position, from your head right down to your feet.

When you run, you put your body through so much pressure that if your muscles or bones are in the wrong place, it can massively increase your risk of injury. You need to learn to align them properly before you get started.