Poor running posture can really drain your energy, it can make the difference between running a personal best and having a really miserable race.
It’s amazing to see the different running styles at a race and sometimes I wonder how some runners go the distance.
In South Africa we had a runner in the 1970’s Matthews “Loop-en-Val” Motshwarateu who had a unique running style that made it seem that he must fall over exhausted at any moment. That’s how he picked up the nickname Loop-en-Val (Run-and-Fall), an Afrikaans translation of his Sotho nickname Motshwareng o tlawa, meaning “Watch him, he will fall.
He became a very successful athlete despite his weird running style, If you get the chance to see a video of this guy running watch it, it’s brilliant. However he is really an exception to the rule.
Everybody has their own unique way of running, but their are a few things that you should look at.
Try not to look down at the ground all the time, keep your head up and focus on the horizon. Relax your arms and shoulders as much as possible, but don’t run slumped over. You need to keep your shoulders back so that your chest cavity remains open so that your lungs can take in as much oxygen as possible.
Your arms should be bent at the elbow at about 90 degrees and try not to clench your fists, keep your hands relaxed.
Don’t bob up and down as you run as this wastes a tremendous amount of energy, try and keep your upper body from moving around too much.
Your whole objective is too try and run as economically as possible, conserving as much energy as you can. You need to concentrate on your posture as you run, the more tired you get the worse your posture becomes.
Don’t try and change the way you run on race day, use your training sessions to get your posture right. Don’t force you body to run unnaturally either, find what’s best for you using the guidelines above and above all enjoy your run.