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Tips for Improving running technique

  • 19-05-2022 9:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭

    I was hoping to pick the brains of fellow Boardsies.

    One massive area of improvement I've noted in my running is my running technique. I've seen enough footage of me at this stage (both fatigued and unfatigued) to see there's very little knee lift, weak pushoff, heels nowhere near flicking up to the butt.

    I've read a bit on Lydiards Hill phase which includes different types of hill training. I've also done a fair bit of googling anf youtubing but was hoping to hear from some of the Boardies on this.

    Do any fellow Boardises work on this on a regular basis?

    If so, is it year round or is it phased?

    Do you address it with strength training or drills or both and if so , which would you recommend?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ReeReeG

    I am far from an expert but while hills are definitely helpful, I think doing some regular plyometric work also goes a long way. So doing your jump squats (especially single leg), hops, skips, and others that I don't even know how to describe! Strength work plays a part for me too, I had noticed i wasn't lifting from the hips really (I'm sure you've noticed people who seem to move only from the knees down sometimes), so all the lunges, squats, glute bridges, single leg deadlifts all play a part in getting the glutes working when running and for me, lifting the legs better.

    If you're not keeping upright enough in the upper body, then some core work would be useful.

    Now I just hope someone doesn't come on saying eh I've seen you run V and you look sh1t !!😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭Runster

    I think not lifting your legs much has its benefits as you don't expend as much energy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Thanks folks. This thread didnt really take off. I should have had a mention of poo in the title - might have drawn more people in. 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 29 kukkanen

    I had to sign if for the first time in ages to comment on this post :)

    I suspect I have a really poor running technique - which recently caused a fairly serious injury that I am trying to recover from at the moment.

    I'd be keen to find out more on how to improve running technique - and more so, is there anywhere to get your technique analysed?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,297 ✭✭✭ariana`


    How about running drills?

    I can't really comment as my running form is cringe worthy, you know those memes that could around with a picture of what one thinks they look like running and what one actually looks like running... well yeah they apply 100% to me 🙄

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67

    I would do something specifically 2-3 times per week, do really use weights so much, mainly bodyweight and quite a bit with resistance bands. Would also do drills before a session and hills every 2-3 weeks.

    Exercises include:

    • Lower Body: Box step-ups/jumps
    • Hamstrings: Straight leg pullbacks with a band, Nordic curls
    • Ankle Dorsiflexion: Angled board work
    • Rotation / Stability: Using an anchored band with tension, Bulgarian squat with a band around the knee for example
    • Hip flexor work with a band

  • Registered Users Posts: 703 ✭✭✭MisterJinx

    Ben Parkes has this simple running technique video which might be of some use

  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭Runster

    I just thought of cadence there, i remember reading that its the top metric for measuring how good the form is.

    You can put the metronome app on the phone and measure it easily enough while running.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad

    For the very basics run as much as possible off-road and even-off trail on hilly terrain.

    That takes care of a lot of the balancing, strenght, mobility issues much of which IMO are often weaknesses caused by excessive road running.

    Use a simple glute activation exercise you know works before every run.

    Incorporate aerobic strides into your base building.

    Run every run as relaxed as possible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,623 ✭✭✭dna_leri

    So, yes work on running form all year round - drills, hills, sprints, plyometrics and strength work. The best time to start is during base phase so you build a base of strength - the 2nd best time to start is today!

    You could get a full body running evaluation from a professional but if you are starting from a low base they may just tell you what you already know. An alternative is "Strength and Condition for Endurance Running" by Richard Blagrove which takes you through a set of tests and what to do to improve. Previously I referenced "Anatomy for Runners" by Jay Dicharry but Blagrove is probably better.

    From a running point of view, I would start with short hill sprints 10-15s hard with full recovery. Start with what you can do (3-4) and build up to 10-12 reps. Concentrate on good form - knee lift, push-off, heel lift - stop if that deteriorates. It can help to focus on 1 item for each rep e.g. high knees, then push-off etc. You can transition from short hills to short strides/sprints 60-80m full recovery, focus on relaxed form not speed.

    Do mobility work before every run - I do a modified version of Jay Johnson's Lunge Matrix and Leg Swings (LMLS) every day, plus other hip mobility work and few other exercises like heel raises. Focus on any prior injuries. I'd recommend doing drills before every work-out/session - there are plenty of videos out there - start with 2 or 3 simple ones like skips, high knees. Plyometrics should be approached with caution but you can start with beginner exercises like pogo jumps (double leg) and hop & stick (single leg). I do them after drills but you can build into strength training either.

    For strength training - I normally do 1 good session a week plus a few other bits added on other days, focusing on major muscle groups with squats, deadlifts, etc.

    I (modestly) think I have good running form but it needs constant work and time. Improving or even maintaining running form especially as you get older, is hard. Most people are not prepared to do that.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,137 ✭✭✭rom

    You need to look at your physic compared to better runners. 

    If you have rock hard and well defined calves and flabby bum in comparision then glute activation is what you need. They are the biggest used for running.

    and if you get good at that then:

    When running think of your pelvis like a fishbowl that you are trying to pour water ever so slightly out the back. It brings the glutes more into play. 

    To get more glute activation running on hilly terran will force you to use glutes more. You don't have to be fast but it will improve a beginner no end compared to running always on the flat. Keep is simple. I am rehabbing my glute so I stand in front my desk also all day as I need to build strength in it.

    So like wear pattern on shoes, find where you are weak. Often it is lack of glute activation in beginners why they are not making progress once they are training effetely at the correct pace zones. Like twice a week weight training in the gym over 6-8 weeks my tempo pace dropped by like 20 sec+ a mile just because I was bringing my glutes more into play.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Some very useful info and links there. Plenty of food for thought. I think the glutes certainly are on the lazy side. Core strength could do with some work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,297 ✭✭✭ariana`

    I think being in a desk job is a real disadvantage with the glutes.

    I'd love to know peoples' recommendations for exercises/stretches that can be done at home with just body weight or resistance bands.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,297 ✭✭✭ariana`