Col's Blog: How to get better running form

Dearly beloved runners,

During and after running are you experiencing any of the following:

  • Knee pain

  • Hip soreness

  • Neck pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Tight quads and hips

  • Shin pain

  • Calf/ achilles pain

  • Recurring injuries that just don’t seem to go away...

Maybe you’ve swapped your trainers, joined a running club, seen a physio... and still you keep getting the same issues.

You are not alone. In any given year, up to 80% of runners get injured in some form or another.

Have you ever thought it could be your running style?

No one teaches us how to run - we are just told to run.

As children, we can run with great form, but chairs, cars, work, computers, life, all change our bodies in such a way that when we run, we are restricted in our movement patterns and just find the easiest ways to move faster than running. In essence when many of us run, we just walk fast!

For those that have done a couch to 5k, how many of you were taught to run, or even prepare your body to take up running? Not many I bet. You just walk for 2 minutes, run for 1 minute because we are all born to run right? Not any more, in this country at any rate.

Unfortunately we have evolved so much to suit our modern lifestyles that running in adult life is so alien. We have forgotten how to run. Not unsurprising when according to Cancer Research UK, 64% of this country are considered overweight and 30% are classed as obese.

So what can we do?

Change is hard, and making one's running style more efficient is not easy. There is no quick fix or pill to take.

Humour me and fold your arms. Comfy, yes? That’s like your current running style.

Now fold your arms the other way... not easy, eh? Once you’ve got there, if you have at all, this should feel weird and not natural. This simulates your new running style. It’s not comfy at first and feels wrong but you need to persevere.

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect, but we need to know what is perfect form first. That’s where a coach comes in.

Changing running form or style takes time; and we also need time to prepare different muscles ready for what they will become accustomed too.

To get your running style analysed and positive changes made to make you more efficient, potentially faster, and injury-proof your body, you can either book a one-to-one session with me at Run Venture Tavistock, or join in an 'Introduction to better running form' group session on Wednesday 8 June in The Meadows at 7pm. The cost is £5 per person.

Mind how you run,


PS Yes - that’s me demonstrating poor running form on the left!