We’re often asked about the best way to improve running performance so we thought we’d write a short blog about it.

As runners in training we often think that if we increase our speed, our distance or the intensity of our training – think hill running; we might improve our overall performance but to really improve our performance we need to take a look at running technique and identify ways to minimise inefficiency. Getting your technique right and mastering the skill of running will take a lot of the hard work out of running, making it more enjoyable and saving you a lot of energy.

To maximise efficiency it’s really important to look at how our whole body operates in a chain of movement. So not just looking at what our feet are doing but also considering our hips, knees, legs, arms and neck.

It is important to keep a nice and relaxed upper body and allowing the feet to land closely to the body and to not over-stride. The feet need to land underneath the hips rather than over-striding, which causes the foot to land too far in front of the knee and encourages heel striking – and increases injury risk.

The rhythm of running can be practised with cadence training. Just find yourself a metronome and set the pace at 180 bpm. This is the ideal cadence for runners. This technique will help with your foot strike and allow you to remain in a good postural position. It’s important to be nice and upright with your head and chest forward but most importantly is to stay relaxed and try not to be tense. As your running mechanics improve, muscle memory will adapt and running in this style will feel natural.

At Melbourne Osteohealth we will get you on the treadmill and film you running. Then we will have a look at your gait frame by frame to really assess how you are moving from the bottom up – how your whole body operates. We can then help you tailor a training plan to minimise inefficiency and get you running faster and freer.