For as long as you can remember, you have known how to walk and run. This makes the entire process, including long-distance running, seem natural and easy. However, the truth of the matter is that you can’t assume that you are running with proper form just because “you’ve been doing it since you were three”. Think about swimming for a second. The fast, efficient swimmers always tell you one thing; proper form and technique is the key.
Running is the same way, and believe it or not, you running posture probably lacks the fundamentals that will dramatically help your time. Make these easy fixes to how you run and you will find it is much easier to avoid walls and run harder.
First, lean forward while keeping your back straight.
You shouldn’t be tripping or losing balance, but you should come close to it! Force your feet to stay under your body. By doing so, running will feel more instinctual and you won’t find yourself concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other.
Second, do the best you can to keep your weight off your feet.
You want as little contact with the ground as possible. Do not land your heels. Try and land on the middle of your foot and keep the center of gravity in front of you. Mastering this technique is very difficult as is opposite to what you are used to doing. Let me throw in a quick suggestion: try running with bare feet. However strange this may seem, it actually helps. Without the shoe there to absorb the impact of each step (like you’re used to), your feet will hit the ground lighter and quicker to avoid pain.
Third, check your vertical distance with each step.
The more bobbing up and down you do with each step, the more energy you’re wasting. Training to run faster is hard when you first start because your strides tend to be short. Longer strides will come with experience, but regardless of your level you can try and improve.
Fourth, keep your vision focused.
If you are running a marathon, this might not be quite as important as it would be to a sprinter. Either way, however, it is of considerable importance. The common trend with all four of these fixes is using every ounce of energy to go one direction, forward. Keeping your vision focused helps you concentrate on your goal and nothing else. I guarantee that by applying these changes to your running you will have substantial improvements in posture, efficiency, and, most importantly, your time. I recommend these tips to all runners that face problems hitting walls. You should especially keep an eye on these basics if you are just entering the world of running, or training for your first marathon.