Have you ever had a coach or friend yell "run tall!", "think tall", "dont lean over too much"!
This is one of the harder components of running to grasp as it involves many smaller concepts to understand what is going on and why we need to be up tall.
A lot of people can see that they are hunched over in their fun run pictures, collapsing or dropping with every step or don't float over the ground as others do. I have found that many people struggle to implement or maintain correct running posture that efficient runners just "have".
Some common injuries from collapsing or not "running tall":
- Lower back pain
- ITB issues
- Achilles issues
But how do we fix this and what does running tall involve?
Many people confuse this with running upright. Running upright is actually deterimental to run technique: (See more on running tips for injury prevention I)
Running tall involves keeping the body and its muscles in tension so they can act as a tight rubber band to re-use and conserve energy. This is done while still maintaining a forward lean.
The common places people 'drop out' or collapse are at the knees and at the hips. The hips are the most common place where the muscles are not pre loaded and collapsing can occur when running.
Red is a runner with weak or dis-engaged core strength and is collapsing through mid stance.
Blue is a runner who has a strong pre tensioned core, glutes and maintains hip stability and the efficient utilisation of energy.
So how do we fix this and run tall?
Once again, everyone is different and there are individual considerations for different anatomy, goals and ability.
Here are two great hints that can assist in running tall and forward (see top video):
1. Imagine someone is grabbing a piece of your hair and is pulling you up vertically like a puppet. Try to maintain this 'tall and strong' position when you run.
2.Once we feel comfortable standing tall, we want to get a slight forward lean while keeping tall and strong. Start stnding tall and then let your body fall forward as a plank and once a good forward lean is achieved, start running! Try to maintaining this feeling of falling forward when you run.
These simple tips can help some people get their body in a better position for running. Most people will need to break this down further with some simple drills and gradually build up until it becomes a natural part of their running technique.
Shoes Feet Gear has teamed up with Tri Alliance to offer a technical run course with Jaryd (biomechanist), Peter (podiatrist) and Tim (Tri Alliance run coach) to provide a fun and cost effective way to implement these strategies plus more! $139 for the 6 weeks - bargain! Register here.