Akhil Viz column: The right running technique can pay dividends

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: July 29, 2014

I PREVIOUSLY described how Susannah Baker and I identified areas for improvement with my running technique and in this article, I will be focusing on the importance of maintaining good linear body posture.

In the last article, I introduced you to the Alexander Technique (AT) which has helped me improve my triathlon performance.

Body posture is dictated by the position of the head since it is quite heavy.

If you look too far down, the chances are that your body will be leaning far too forward causing you to stomp while you run.

On the other hand, if your head is looking upwards towards the sky, your legs will have the tendency to propel your body upwards rather than forwards.

Therefore, it is crucial that your head position is correct not only to run more efficiently, but also to avoid any potential injuries.

My initial consultation with Susannah found that my head needed to be angled slightly downwards.

Susannah demonstrated how to achieve this by first making me stand upright and then completely relaxing my upper body.

Susannah then instructed me to look straight ahead after which, she angled my head slightly downwards.

She emphasised that the lowering of the head comes from the head neck joint and that the head should sit naturally at the correct position.

In addition, Susannah also advised me to tilt my upper body slightly forwards.

Doing so would ensure that my body propels itself forwards and that my running momentum is maintained. Again, Susannah demonstrated how to find the optimum position by making me stand upright and then place my forefinger and thumb by my waist, below.

From this position, I then lean forwards from the hips until my centre of gravity causes me to move forwards.

This is the optimum point for the body to be leaning forwards.

Find yourself a quiet spot and experiment with your head position.

Lower or raise your head until you feel your upper body is relaxed and then try to maintain a similar position when you run.

It must feel natural rather than forced. The same applies to tilting your upper body forwards.

Initially, it may feel awkward, but I can assure you that a difference will be made in your running performance.

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