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Couch to 5K
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How to run well/properly?

This may be an odd question from someone who has graduated a while back, but so far I've run on softish stuff. A few fast last mins on Tarmac at the end of recent runs have made me more self aware. I seem to be quite "thumpy" on the ground, and I don't want an injury come winter and pavement running.

So I decided to look up correct running techniques online. As far as I can tell I must:

Use long strides and/or use short strides

Land on my heels/ mid foot

Lift knees high/ don't lift too high

Stretch longer as get faster/ don't let feet come past knees

Argh! One bit of advice contradicts the next!

Now I'm aware you all may also use different techniques but I can't get more confused and a pattern may evolve. I know heel strike is seen as old fashioned now, but otherwise no idea how to land softly or reduce injury risk!

So - especially long term graduates - how do YOU do it?

7 Replies

Do what comes naturally. I recently switched to mid foot, and then had to take 3 weeks out through injury. Wouldn't switch back now though.


Personally, I feel like I've got a natural stride length - when I've tried to lengthin it to speed up, it doesn't work.

I've recently tried to pull up from my core (abs), running tall from my pelvis and propel forward using my thighs (quads) and bum (glutes), rather than doing all my running from below the knee.

A good tip I've read is to relax the front of your ankles and imagine a cycling motion in your legs.

I have no idea whether any of this counts as good form, only that it seems to help me.


Laura has some advice in the C25k+ podcasts so you might want to listen to those if you haven't already.

Alternatively take a look at news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/he...

1 like

How to run correctly



I have a mid foot strike now but was heel when I first started which I think caused shin splints, since changing to mid foot I've had no problems. I try and lengthen my stride when on the flat or slight downhill for obvious reasons (cover longer distances faster) and shorter stides going up hill if its quite steep. Arms at 90 degrees and moving forward and back, not across the front of your body. The nhs.uk/Livewell website gives good clear descriptions and I more or less stick with their recommendations and always have done. I'm a mouth breather, I'm never able to take in enough air through my nose but its quite a common thing I'm told by our Jog Scotland coach. Happy running.


Thanks guys. I don't heel strike and try to do all the posture stuff. The bit I find hard is controlling my knees and how hard I run. Have tried rotating my leg while standing still but I think I'll just have to concentrate while running!


A tip you could try is using your toes to push off from. It should propel you forward more. Not something to do the whole run but it can help to give you a boost, especially if you are slowing down or finding it hard going.

Breathing deeply helps too.


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