What bad running habits do you have?

I've discovered that, when tired, I have a habit of propelling my shoulders forward and back as I run and this action can also move down into my hips. So this week I've made a conscious effort to keep everything square so that my arms and legs are all going forward.

I want to improve my running technique and wondered if anyone else had any habits they needed to work on.

23 Replies

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  • How long have you got??? Where shall I start. Like you there's the hunched shoulder issue, not keeping my core upright and tendency to lean forward, particularly when I am getting tired, not keeping my head straight, clenching my fists, not picking my feet up high enough etc etc. It's an awful lot to try and remember - oh, and don't forget to breathe and SMILE.

  • I don't hunch my shoulders, I swing them forward and back so my trunk is doing all the hard work, instead of my legs. It must look really weird.

  • ^^^ all of the above! Snap 😀 I look down at the ground so try to get my chin up more which works for so long but then I find myself looking at the ground again! It's a constant battle trying to stop doing it.

  • I do this too. I'm constantly having to remind myself to look at least 10 paces ahead but almost immediately afterwards, I'm back to looking at the ground! We were told never to look at the ground when you're walking by a teacher. She said it gives you bad posture and you must always look far ahead. Maybe there is something in that after all. At the time it sounded a bit bonkers.

  • I look at the ground for rabbit holes, and cow pats, I've tried not to do this and slipped or twisted my ankle, so now I look like one of those toys that head bobs up and down. Good job I run alone!

  • I do find myself looking down but that's mainly to look out for dog poo!! But yes posture is a problem when u get tired....I am an habitual sloucher!

  • Do you go through a check list? I start at the head and work down the body correcting things, but wondered if it's better to concentrate on correcting one thing at a time, then move to the next when the first habit is broken.

  • Yep all the above too ! When I start getting tired I tend to crumple in the middle like someones stuck a pin in me and I'm deflating :-)

    Oh yes and having an iron grip on my water bottle, its like I'm holding on to it 'cos if I don't I'll fall off ! Fall off where , I don't know, but that's how it feels ! :-) xxx

  • That's something to think about later. I've never taken a drink with me as I haven't done any runs long enough to warrant it yet!

  • I pull my shoulders up, they ache by the time I finish. I think overall I'm a bit more comfortable running than I was when I first started, a feel less awkward and I don't think I'm slapping my feet down as heavily. I've not caught sight of my reflection in anything while running but I'm quite sure I don't look anything like I think I do!

  • I sometimes catch myself with high shoulders and do a worm dance to loosen everything back down, good job there's no video of this!

  • This reminds me of that Bob Hope film! The Paleface! When he (playing a cowardly dentist) has to face a duel with a gunslinger

    He draws from the left, so lean to the right."

    "There's a wind from the west so aim to the east."

    "He crouches when he shoots so stand on your toes."

    "He draws from the left so stand on your toes,"

    "He crouches when he shoots so aim to the west.

    He draws from his toes so lean to the wind."

    I just try and keep upright. It's hard when you get tired though

  • I know exactly what you are talking about - one of my favourite bits of any film ever and yes, that snippet from Paleface has crossed my mind whilst running before now, trying to tie all the threads together.

  • Bob Hope films, you have a good memory!

  • I don't have any. I am a gazelle 😂😂😂

  • Yeah, right.

  • My worst running habit is definitely not picking up my feet enough when I run, I'll scuff my feet multiple times over the course of a run. I'm genuinely surprised that I haven't tripped over yet!!

  • I have a bad habit of looking down rather than forward as I do a lot of trails and worry about tripping over!!!

  • I run up a path that has been worn down by mountain bikers, so if I didn't look down I would be horizontal.

  • Snap for me too! I have a bad habit of looking down (though pretty much the one time I didn't I fell over a dog that ran out in front of me and broke my wrist), I slouch especially when getting tired, don't pick my feet up and oddly clench my right hand tight. I have to tell myself to loosen it regularly! To be honest I think I need a running lesson!!! 😁

  • I do wonder if it would be worth someone watching me run, to see what else I do wrong. I can't be all bad as I manage to get from A to B.

  • Occasionally not picking my feet up enough , not got that cycling action going on , other than that I run like wind 😉 in my dreams haha

  • When I try the cycling action my arms fall in line so I look like I'm trying to do a train impression, only need to add the odd Chooo Choooo

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