Running Form: Mine is Bad

I need to relearn how to run, apparently. I heel-strike when I run, and apparently, that’s bad. Unfortunately, I have less than a week to my APFT which is not a lot of time to get it right. So, I’m going to keep my bad habits and work on my form next week. What are my problem areas?

  1. Heel-strike. This is a big one and probably my biggest problem. All long-distance runners run by striking the flat of the foot first. When you skip, the flat of your foot hits the ground before the ball. That’s how runners are supposed to run. When I run, my heels come down pretty hard on the ground which is bad for my knees, joints, and even my endurance. I will work on this a lot starting next week.
  2. Arm movement. This is an easier one to address in the short-term. While my arm movement isn’t very bad, with a very minor adjustment, it can be made correct. I will do this on my run coming up tomorrow.
  3. Posture. I have read some conflicting information about posture, but all agree that your neck should be straight and no hunching over. Some say lead with the hips while others say make your body straight but leaning forward. I will try both and use whichever feels more comfortable. Again, this is a change I will work on next week.

I run about as fast as I can run right now with all my bad habits and form. I think I’ll be okay Saturday for my APFT and I’ll get a passing run, but I want to improve my speed by improving my form. 3+ miles is considered an endurance run, and I need to work on endurance since 5k distances are mostly aerobic with only 15% of the run being anaerobic. I don’t plan on running really long distances, but I will begin to run longer/slower runs in the future to help bring my 2 mile and 5k times down.

Author: PaleoMarine

Former active duty Marine who went from 170 lbs to 328 lbs and decided that he had to change his life or die. He lost 130 lbs in 1 year through Whole30 and adopting the Paleo Diet without doing any exercise at all. Since starting running, he's lost an additional 20 lbs and is comfortably back in the 170 lbs range. He is a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard and writes multiple blogs about topics he is passionate about.

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