Simple Form Tweaks to Make Running Feel a Thousand Times Easier

Simple Form Tweaks to Make Running Feel a Thousand Times Easier

So you can run better and longer—without loading up on miles or training time

01 of 09

Faster, Stronger, Smoother

Faster, Stronger, Smoother
Chris Fanning

The quickest way to run better and longer—without cranking up your training or mileage—is to iron out any kinks in your form. "If you consistently focus on making some very small changes each time you hit the pavement, you'll see major progress in your pace and endurance in just a few runs," says Chris Bennett, Global Head Coach of Nike+ Run Club. Follow his head-to-toe pointers to really fly.

02 of 09

Look Straight Ahead

Look Straight Ahead
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Keeping your gaze forward (save for glances down at the terrain) will help you maintain good form and take in any information that can minimize your reaction time so you don't break cruising speed.

03 of 09

Make a Poker Face

Make a Poker Face
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A relaxed expression can loosen up your entire body, whereas scowling or gritting causes you to tense muscles. Says Bennett: "If you stay relaxed, you can run fast."

04 of 09

Lead with Your Chin

Lead with Your Chin
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Point your chin slightly ahead of your chest to set your upper body just right: not too far forward, which limits knee lift, or too far back, which breaks momentum.

05 of 09

Relax Your Shoulders

Relax Your Shoulders
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When your shoulders inch up toward your ears, quickly readjust by taking two deep breaths as you drop your arms along your sides to pull your shoulders down, giving them a wiggle to release any energy-sapping tension.

06 of 09

Work the Angles

Work the Angles
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Bend your arms 90 degrees and alternately drive your elbows straight back (hands almost reach hips) and pump them forward and up (hands in line with chest). "This can drive your knee lift and increase your turnover speed [or how fast your feet hit the ground]," Bennett says. "All of that means a faster pace for you."

07 of 09

Unclench Those Fists

Unclench Those Fists
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Squeezing them for even just 10 seconds will eat up energy. (And, obv, fueling up before a run will help keep energy high too.)

08 of 09

Bring Up Your Knees

Bring Up Your Knees
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With each stride, aim to get that knee up to just below hip height. A lower knee lift shortens your stride, so it takes you longer—and requires more juice—to cover the same distance. (This is über important since running can take a huge toll on your legs).

09 of 09

Strike the Sweet Spot

Strike the Sweet Spot
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Let your feet land right under your hips to help align your whole body so that your joints take less of a jolt. Try to land closer to the front third of your foot for max spring.

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