Running Form - From Myth to Reality


Forgive my boldness in this statement.

Do two of these runners have the same form? Nope.

Do two of these runners have the same form? Nope.

It is physiologically impossible to make all humans run according to a specific style of running form by telling them to do so without regard for neurologic and biomechanical conditions.  You can run fast with shitty mechanics and you can run a shitty race with bad mechanics.   There is no one running form that fits all people.  And this is because our arms, our legs, our vestibular system, our glutes, our hips, our everything about us is different. We are all built differently.  If you don’t believe me, just look around.  Notice how your average runner runs as compared to other average runners. vThen, for fun, notice how professional athletes run.  And, compare them to other professional runners. You’ll see gait that looks different from runner to runner.  You’ll see feet pronate.  You’ll see knees at inconsistent angles.  You’ll see shoulders with a variety of tension.  There is no perfect way to run.  It is my belief that the goal with form is to find a running form that helps YOUR specific body move as safely and efficiently as possible. 

Adopting techniques that help your body work with gravity to propel yourself forward will help you run better.  Really, the goal with running form is to remove movement dysfunction and replace with movement patterns that work for your body.  And, the only way to change movement patterns are to target your brain.  Telling someone to lift their knees when they run does not make them lift their knees.  Analyzing why they don’t lift their knees when they run and then fixing that makes them lift their knees.  Is their pelvis locked in place so that they can’t get hip extension. Is their dominant glute not firing?  Is their visual system (eyes and/or brain) not working properly creating a visual problem which creates a stiff upper body?  Is their vestibular system off thereby forcing tight hips?  Even if I consciously try to lift my knees when I run, if something in my brain is already set at “don’t lift those knees”.  I will NEVER lift my knees. Ever.  And, for those who understand how to build biomechanic processes for muscle recruitment, even if you activate the correct muscles and train muscle recruitment for running gait- if the client’s vestibular system still says “don’t lift those knees because I am waaaay too afraid of falling down”, you will not get them to lift their knees.

So, the moral here is that there is running form and good running form can vary from person to person.  Good running form can only be fixed by addressing dysfunction at the neural level.  And, running form will need to be changed based on terrain, length of the run, fatigue of the runner and many other conditions.  

One more bold statement, shoes don’t make you run better.  Your brain does.  Sorry running stores!

#wickedsmartfitness #neurorunner