Earlier this week I posted a quote from and interview Amby Burfoot conducted with famed runner and coach Alberto Salazar in which Salazar was quoted as saying: “There has to be one best way of running. It’s got to be like a law of physics. And if you deviate too much from that–the way I did in my career–it can be a big handicap.” At the end of the post, I lamented that although there are numerous published philosophies on running form (e.g., Pose, Chi, Evolution, Newton, or that described in any of the numerous running books out there), there seems to be no consensus on what exactly is the best way to run, or if there even is a single best way to run that will work for every person.
Yesterday, fellow running blogger Steve Magness over at the Science of Running blog sent me an e-mail saying that he had put together a post describing his philosophy on how to run. I respect Steve’s opinion a lot since he is a fellow scientist, a coach, and an elite level runner (he is a near 4:00 miler). He has also studied under some of the best running coaches out there, and has observed Salazar in action at the Nike Training Complex. Steve brings a distinctly biomechanical and scientific approach to his description of how to run, and I highly recommend that you give his post a a read: http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2010/08/how-to-run-running-with-proper.html
Here are Steve’s summary points, check out the full post for a more thorough description.
1. Body Position- upright, slight lean from ground. Head and face relaxed.
2. Feet- as soon as knee comes through, put the foot down underneath you. Land mid or forefoot underneath knee, close to center of the body.
3. Arm stroke- controls rhythm, forward and backwards from the shoulder without side to side rotation
4. Hip extension- extend the hip and then leave it alone.
5. Rhythm- control rhythm and speed through arm stroke and hip extension.