Couch to 5K
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Every day I'm shuffling ... tips for technique, please!!

I completed my third parkrun yesterday, I'm getting closer to 30 minutes (31:46) but, by jove, it's a slow process!

Anyhow, I was flicking through the race report this morning when I saw that someone had posted a video. A quick scroll through and there I am ... shuffling. Not even jogging but shuffling. I know from my shadow when I run that I don't have a natural technique but even I was taken aback with how I look when I run (I also run with my elbows sticking out!).

So, my question, are there any techniques that I can try to move from my shuffle? I can see that I need to pick my knees up or kick my feet back more but I have no idea how to even attempt to do this without causing myself an injury.

I would post a link to the video but I'm too embarrassed to share it with you all!!

16 Replies

I know that feeling.... I caught a glimpse of myself in a window recently, running slowly, sounding remarkably like your description! At first I was discouraged by the state of my running. But I tell myself, as I now tell you too: it's more about stamina, achieving a distance or an amount of time running, rather than a style. One way or another, we're getting there!

Everyone runs in a different way, though I have been trying to practice posture/pose running, getting my footfall under my body more which makes the running easier. I've managed to avoid looking in that window since, but with the leaves scuffing around now I'm sure I don't lift my foot far at all.

One thing that helps is leaning your body slightly forward. It tends to slightly increase my pace, and lengthen my stride. If you like I could send you a link to a post on youtube about efficient running which I found useful. Its helping me develop (slowly) a style which is good for my joints and efficient too. So hopefully in the long run, as my fitness improves and my legs don't feel so heavy, I will be able to run with more finesse!


Thanks Arablue, the YouTube link would be great, please


This one is really interesting to watch:

This one I found most helpful. Hillseeker Fitness who posted this video has a few helpful videos on this subject. I have really found running much less uncomfortable already, even though I am still learning.

There's another one by Brian Mackenzie, running the wheel, which has some more info if you want it, but I didn't want to overwhelm you! Hope these help. :-)


Fab, thanks for this! I'll google Brian and Hillseeker and watch the other ones. And sorry about the 'everyday I'm shuffling' on repeat ... If it helps, I had it as well this afternoon, so much so, that I honestly couldn't tell you what I was actually listening to :D


With my current speed, I think I am looking at a Parkrun taking at least 40 minutes! I have been wondering too if there is a correct posture. I do try to keep my shoulders down, as someone mentioned that if shoulders are hunched, it can be more stressful and that you need to relax into the run. Would like to see the youtube link mentioned by arablue. Good luck with yo next Parkrun! Think I may be attempting mine mid November.


Run tall!

I read somewhere that you should envisage having four headlights, one on each hip and one on each nipple and all four should point forwards. I guess you could do it literally :-O

Head up, shoulders back.


Well done on a great parkrun!

I bet you werent the only one whose posture wasnt perfect :-)

I remember feeling great on my 2nd outdoor run then seeing my reflection in a plate glass window and thinking who is that weeble?

So here is what I have gleaned from fellow runners and books etc -

Run as tall as you can - ie head up shoulders back and down, The headlights tip is a good one.

Just work on moving your feet as fast as you can. Economical, shorter faster (lighter if possible) steps are the way forward (literally!)

And to improve running posture, we need to work on our whole bodies, especially our core, that's why cross training is a good idea (eg if you can fit in some swimming, weights/resistance or pilates or yoga that would help a lot).

DON'T make the mistake of trying to lengthen your stride, it isnt natural and will lead to injury and fatigue (sprinters are different, they have more fast twitch muscle fibres AND work hard on strength, particularly core strength).

Runners get faster by increasing their "turnover" or "cadence" (elite distance runners do 3 steps or more per second!) as efficiently as possible. ?


And I should have said, that's a brilliant parkrun time, I last did one at 36 mins so who on earth am I to give you advice on technique :-P


Thanks for all of the advice. I was looking to starting alternative exercise on my non-running days so, hopefully, that will help.

And I love the headlights advice ... might come in handy with the dark nights rolling in :D


It's funny you should mention 'shuffling' as I recently saw my shadow and realised that whilst *I* think I am running (and this was C25K+ or Audiofuel, so going at a fair lick for me), it looks more like a Parkinsonian shuffle.

However, Paula Radcliffe's running style is ghastly so...


Well, I caught sight of myself in a shop window and I look as though I am moving with an invisible zimmer frame. I just don't run that route any longer :D


I see my shadow running and think I look like I'm running quite well, my parkrun time is about the same as yours. I see people flying past me with the strangest running styles but it seems to work for them. Exactly what GoogleMe says about Paula Radcliffe!!


So, there I was running yesterday. Convincing myself that I can make it through this 25 minute run. And what I am thinking? "Every day I'm shuffling!" And I'm smiling to myself as I go. :-)


I must admit since reading this, when I went out on my last run, I raised a smile thinking about "every day I'm shuffling" too and was trying to look at my reflection and shadow at every opportunity to figure out if I was shuffling along as well!


Hi FrockyHorror, I have just done the 5k+ stamina podcast. Have you tried this one? Laura offers some advice on this: stand tall, look ahead about 10 metres and not down, arms moving to power you along, but not crossing against your body. These tips helped me think about my posture and technique. I think the arms one is good as when you get into the swing of it (no pun intended), it can really help lift you as it feels like they are taking some of the burden and not just your legs so your legs are freer to move more - hope that makes sense?


It does make sense. I'll try to bear that in mind next time I'm out. As I get tired my form does deteriorate, but when I remembered to think more about my posture it was definitely easier.


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