Well, many people will say YES to this question.  And according to running gurus and elite runners, it can make or break your running career.  Some say correct running form will help you run faster, others say it will help prevent injuries and still some others say it will prolong your running career.  I’ve read some commentaries that say amen to all of the above.

(From runningplanet.com)

(From runningplanet.com)

While there are still those who are skeptical and dismiss the hype on midfoot running as just a fad, I have decided to peruse reports and magazine articles.  I think I need all the help I can get being a rather newbie in this sport I have come to love.

There are of course running clinics and workshops you can attend for free.  But for those whose schedules don’t allow them to take advantage of these opportunities like me, we can always read and/or check with the experienced runners we know for tips.

I have also discovered that a lot of blog posts are dedicated to helping spread the word on the “correct” running form.

Following is an excerpt of an article from Running Times (which also includes some links I’m still checking out as of this writing):

Run Naturally

Here are several basic tenets of natural running form espoused by various technique gurus:

  •   A key to natural running form is high cadence with short strides, regardless of pace.
  •   Regardless of your running pace, run with a fast cadence of 180 to 190 steps per minute or higher.
  •   Instead of rolling through a stride and pushing off, lift your leg to begin a stride.
  •   Run with an upright posture and a slight forward lean.
  •   Strike the ground below your hips and not in front of them to reduce braking. (Wearing lightweight, low-to-the-ground shoes with minimal midsole cushioning helps reinforce this stride.)
  •   Strike the ground at the midfoot, not the heel or the toes — the actual impact area will vary based on body type — and allow your heel to naturally settle to the ground.
  •   When starting a new stride, develop the habit of picking up your leg instead of pushing off the ground.
  •   Use a compact and fluid arm swing, keeping your elbows bent at an acute angle and your hands close to your chest.
  •   Keep your head upright and steady and your eyes looking forward.
  •   Be “present in the moment” to allow yourself to concentrate on your stride but stay relaxed and don’t overanalyze. The more you adhere to good form, the quicker it will become second nature.
  •    Consider getting custom insoles to further your gait enhancement.
  •   Land at the midfoot and allow the heel to settle to the ground.

For those who haven’t discovered the Running Tips portion of Runner’s World where you can read all about running form, click here.

I’m sure you will agree that in everything we do, it pays to be educated.  Happy running!