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Marathon Training Plan Resources and Reviews
The position of your head and neck will direct the rest of your body, so if you feel
that you are getting too tense, take a deep breath; this will relax your chest and
shoulders, which will also straighten out your body and hips. Your arms should swing
in a relaxed way next to your body; don't let them cross in front of you, and if
you feel your hands forming into fists, shake your arms out to relax them. Your stride
should be short with your feet striking directly below your body; there is no reason
to lift your knees or stretch your legs out long; you are not training for a marathon.
You should be striving for ease, strength and endurance.
If you are a more experienced runner but find yourself suffering from fatigue or strain in your back and shoulders, it may be helpful to have a friend videotape you while you are running. Having the ability to see yourself run can be extremely helpful, as your biomechanics may need correction.
There are numerous running form videos available online; comparing your own stride
and carriage to that of other runners can also help identify the source of your stress
or help improve your running technique.
Barefoot running technique and running in the Vibram Five Finger running shoe has captured the attention of runners around the world, as it encourages a forefoot strike running form rather than the heel strike form that highly-
Both running barefoot and the Vibram strengthen the muscles in your feet and calves;
this will improve both your speed and your mileage. However, it is crucial to remember
that proper running form is important regardless of whether you choose a heel strike
or forefoot strike stride, and that switching to barefoot running or the Vibram is
a gradual process. If you are training for a marathon or a half marathon, switch
back and forth between your cushioned shoe and the Vibram before increasing your
training mileage substantially.
Running injuries are often due to improper running form, and shin splints are one of the most common injuries. Shin splints occur when your calf muscles are too tight; the tightness pulls your heel up and your toes down, which puts undue strain on the weaker muscles in the front of your leg.
The mechanical strain can be exacerbated by your foot structure, which may cause you to pronate (tilt your foot in) or supinate (tilt your foot out). Either way, shin splints generally originate from leaning too far forward when you are running. Holding your torso straight and keeping your shoulders relaxed will help, and get you back to your marathon training plan in no time.
Whether you are going out for your very first run or training for a marathon, the most important thing that you can do to ensure your success is pay attention to your running form. Using proper form ensures that you will run efficiently, while improper form can exhaust you and potentially cause injury. We will take a look at what beginners need to know, what equipment can help every runner improve their form, and how using proper running form can prevent you from injuring yourself.
As a beginning runner you need to remember that running is supposed to be enjoyable. If your hands are clenched and you hold your shoulders up high around your ears you will end up with back and arm strain. If you lift your knees too high you will exhaust yourself.
When you run, let the horizon be your guide. Look straight ahead of you instead of down at your feet or at the ground and keep your back and neck straight. Continued below....
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