4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners | STACK Fitness

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners

May 4, 2013 | Joe Lopez

Must See Running Videos

Running seems like an easy skill. However, running with no concern for form will limit your chances of competing in a race. Correct your running form before it's too late for a long-distance event.

Correct Your Posture

A tall upper-body posture will improve your running efficiency and help you breathe correctly. It's important to keep your chest open and your shoulders pulled back. Avoid the temptation to lead with your shoulders. Instead, keep your pelvis forward. It should be the first part of your body to cross the finish line. "Clawing at the ground" is what propels you forward, not driving back as if starting from a sprint.

To ensure tall posture, strengthen your body. Specifically, focus on your glutes, lower back, shoulders, lats and traps. Also, practice running form drills in front of a mirror to help you learn how your body feels in the proper running position.

Don't Overstride

Lower-body mechanics take more effort to correct, but the effort pays dividends. In particular, do not overstride. This form error occurs when your foot lands too far in front your hips, often preceded by a heel strike. It causes a braking motion that slows you down and can result in joint injury over time.

Instead, make contact with either your midfoot or the ball of your foot just slightly ahead of your hips. (Learn more about foot strike position.) You will avoid braking and it will keep you lighter on your feet, which eliminates stress on the joints.

Increase Your Stride Rate

Focus on foot turnover speed rather than long strides. As you flex your knee behind you, flex your hip to bring your trailing ankle to your front knee before taking your next stride. Your feet will turn over faster and you will maintain a balanced center of gravity.

Strengthen Your Core

Believe it or not, core strength is critical for proper running form. It minimizes unnecessary movements and keeps you stable, which improves running efficiency. It also helps you maintain your form over a long duration, so fatigue doesn't cause you to slow down.

Improve your running core strength with stability exercises such as this Plank circuit.

Joe Lopez
- Joe Lopez, CSCS, works with many different athletes at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J. His expertise is in track & field,...
Joe Lopez
- Joe Lopez, CSCS, works with many different athletes at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J. His expertise is in track & field,...
Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,621,914
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,197
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,154,655

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,546
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,257
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,811
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,834,380
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Guide to Common Running Terminology

7 Tips to Help First-Time Marathoners Avoid Common Mistakes

How to Start Your Barefoot Leg Workout

Running Away From GI Distress: Symptoms, Causes And Tips

How to Design a Running Schedule That Fits Your Life

The Most Effective Form of Endurance Training

Pick The Right Running Partner (The First Time)

How to Prepare for the Spartan Race and Other Mud Runs

An Introduction to Strength Training for Runners

How to Control Your Breathing During an Obstacle Race

7-Year Old Triathlete Sets 5K Record

Don't Choke on Race Day: Tips to Run a Better Race

Off-Season Triathlon Training Tips and Workout Program

The Exercise Every Runner Must Do

STACK Challenge: Army Two-Mile Run

Tired of Tiring During Runs? Try These Jogging Pace Drills

4 Biggest 5K Training Mistakes

The Nature and Nurture of Running for Fitness

Are You Ready for the Arctic Enema?

3 Things You Must Do Before Trying Minimalist Running Shoes

4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Ran My First Marathon

5 Keys and A Workout Plan for An Awesome 5K

Get Geared Up for the Wall Jump Obstacle

Running Tips for True Beginners

Weight Training for Runners: 3 Full-Body Moves

8-Week Spartan Beast Training Program

Learn the Secrets of Tapering

Maximize Your Trail Running

6 5K Tips for a Great Running Experience

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

Runners: Don't Overlook These 2 Types of Training

Training for Mud Runs, Part 4: Long Trail Runs

Why Jogging Is Counterproductive

You're Doing It Wrong: Running

Ultramarathon Runner Stephanie Howe's 7 Training Secrets

Foolproof 20-Week Marathon Training Schedule

The Obstacle Course Racer's Guide to Fixing Muscle Cramps

Be Ready to Run a 5K in 6-8 Weeks

Hunter McIntyre Rises Above the Competition

7 Endurance Tips From Ultramarathon Runner Ian Sharman

Are You Ready for a Tough Mudder?