Are You An Efficient Runner, And Why Does This Even Matter?
Perhaps, the WHY this even matters is the more important question. And in a nutshell, it matters because running efficiently prevents INJURIES!
Efficiency matters in all areas of life and especially in our movement and exercise choices. Knowing proper efficient form is key whether you’re a runner, golfer, biker, swimmer, or walking for fitness.
Moving well and efficiently is of primary importance because what people usually do is move a lot, get injured, and then back-track and learn how to move properly to avoid injury. Why not start by learning what efficiency is in your sport so the “getting injured” part of the loop is eliminated?
The place to start with efficiency in running is by understanding body alignment.
Do you know what that means? Or how you would improve it if it was off?
It’s important because as a runner, you want to make sure you use your structure, meaning your bones, ligaments and tendons, to support yourself rather than overuse your muscles. Sure, certain muscles are used when you run, but not the muscle groups I see so many runners using.
This overuse of muscles is what gets runners so fatigued and causes so many injuries. Sorry to say, but poor body alignment will most likely lead to injuries that will sideline your training and cause pain in areas like your back, hips, and hamstrings.
Here’s how to tell if your body is aligned properly. Take your normal stance and look down. Can you see your shoelaces? You should be able to!
You can also look at yourself in the mirror. Looking sideways do your shoulders, hips, and ankles line up in a horizontal line? They should.
If you experience any back pain, or notice that you hold tension anywhere in your legs (glutes, calves, ankles or feet), it’s likely your alignment is off. Also if you feel neck pain when you run, there’s a good chance your alignment is off.
So that’s the tie-in between running efficiently to reduce injuries and understanding that alignment is the key.
I cover this and so many other injury prevention tips in all my Running Made Easy workshops. To learn more, click here.