Basic Running Skills
Efficient Running techniques reveal an absence of wasted movement, usage of only the essential muscles, optimal amounts of force exerted, and the relaxation of those muscles not involved in the movement. There is a coordination action of the entire body with which to overcome inertia and move the center of gravity forward.
Position of the Pelvis
The pelvis is not rigidly fixed in one position but is fully capable of movement in conjunction with the lower spine and the hips. In the case of running, this movement produces anteroposterior inclination in which the pelvis is tilted forward and backward. The extent of such movement which are attached to act on the pelvis. What does this mean? In short, these muscles serve as "force couples" which must be kept in balance if the position of the pelvis is to be maintained in the proper anatomic position that is tilted neither forward nor backward during normal standing postures.
Position of the Head and Trunk
The head, trunk, and pelvis should be positioned along a vertical line, which is perpendicular to the ground; this helps to insure that the pelvis is in the most efficient position. It should be obvious that the erect position better enables you to lift your knees, which, in turn, will increase stride length.
Your head should be up, with eyes focused 20 - 30 yards ahead; runners who have a tendency to look at the ground a short distance in front of their feet usually have short, choppy stride as a result.
Arm and Shoulder Carriage
It is necessary to have arm and shoulder movement during running so that torque produced by the driving of the legs is more easily absorbed. Your shoulder must move in coordination with the arms. The combined action is quiet one and shoulder just be vigorous enough to balance out the effects of the leg drive.
It is advisable for you to keep the hands, arms, and shoulders as relaxed as possible, for tense muscles not only required a greater oxygen consumption but also are prone to cramp. Most runners cup the hands or maintain a light pressure between the thumb and fist finger on each hand; this tends to prevent the arms and shoulders form tensing.
The position of the arms should probably approach a right angle during the forward movement but the exact position is not critical. However, you must not carry your arms excessively high for this can be very fatiguing. During the forward swing your arms should not cross the imaginary mid-line which divides the body. Runners who do this "cross-body" action causes the trunk to rotate unnecessarily.
Action of the Legs
There are two parts of leg action these are (1) The recovery phase, and (2) The driving phase. In the recovery phase the rear foot leaves the ground and the driving phase the lead foot touches the ground.
Running speed is the combination of the stride length and frequency of the stride. Stride length and body lean will increase as one increases speed.
A male runner has a landing touch with a "heel-ball" action, which is where the heel hits the ground first. The weight is then transferred to the ball of the foot in a rocking chair fashion. Among female runners the "heel-ball" and "ball-heel-ball" is about the same. In the "ball-heel-ball" the runner initially settles on the ball of the foot, then momentarily transfers the body's weight to the heel, and then rolls forward again to the ball for the driving phase. The "heel-ball" landing tough is more suited to be more efficient over long distances because there is less strain put on the muscles of the calf.