How to Run: Proper Running Form

how to run tips

When people think about how to run, they tend to focus on the feet. However, proper running form starts with the head and works its way down to the feet. If your head and upper body are aligned properly, your lower body and your stride are more likely to be correct. One of the important things to understand about running, is that you want to run in an energy efficient way. You want to run as efficiently as possible, in order to avoid tiring easily and to run as far and long as you can – injury free.

Perhaps an easy way to describe how to run is to “RUN TALL” ; which means you should stretch yourself to your full height, with your back fairly upright.  

Below is a little more info on how to run tall . Don’t feel overwhelmed. These pointers are not there to help you run, they’re just there to help you run better . The more you run, the more you’ll understand the guidance and put it into practice. Don’t read this and feel you have to understand and do everything exactly right in order to run. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Just get out and run, the rest will follow. If you simply run tall . you’ll be doing most things right already. So, don’t worry! Read more about how to run. which has a video illustrating running form,

and check out a beginner running program .


Good head alignment is key to good running form. Look ahead towards the horizon, neither up nor down. This will straighten your neck and back, bringing them into alignment. Your jaw and neck should be relaxed and your chin should not jut out.


Keep your shoulders square, low, loose and relaxed. While you’re running your shoulders should remain square and level. They shouldn’t be swaying from side to side. No slouching. Don’t allow your shoulders to move upwards and become high and tight. If you feel your shoulders getting tense, shake them out and release the tension.




Keep your hands and wrist relaxed, with your hands in an unclenched fist. Your fingers should lightly touch your hands.



In endurance running the knees are not lifted high, but kept fairly low to create an energy efficient stride. Lifting the knee high, as in sprinting, requires a lot of energy and is mostly done to create power and speed. Also, keep knees slightly bent to absorb the impact when you hit the ground. Don’t make too long a stride, but aim for your feet to land underneath your body. If your lower leg extends in front of your body, you’re making to long a stride. Running tall with a low knee lift will help stop overstriding.


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