Focus on the Form: Tips for Running a Safe and Effective Marathon

27 Aug, 2019

When it comes to running, form is everything. Your marathon training guide is likely full of tips and tricks for maintaining endurance, building strength and keeping pace. While all contribute to an effective race strategy, practicing proper form is the best way to complete a strong and injury-free race.  To ensure your marathon experience is safe and successful, I have compiled information on the importance of running form and how you can practice maintaining proper techniques before the big day. Why should you focus on form?

  • It prevents injury

Not keeping proper form can be dangerous for your body. Improper form can lead to a pull in the muscle or other more serious injuries that can keep you from continuing your race, and even risk your ability to successfully run in the future.

  • It makes running simpler and more efficient

When you run properly and keep form, it is much easier to perform well and finish long distance races with ease.

Tips for holding form with ease

  • Keep your eyes on the prize

As a runner, you may find yourself instinctually looking at your feet while running; however this greatly hinders your form. While running, keep your gaze on the finish line and look straight in front of you. This will help posture and spinal alignment, while preventing you from losing balance or running into anything.

  • Relax your hands

If you start to clench your fists as you run, you could build tension that will move to the upper half of your body. Keep things loose for a more comfortable run.

  • Focus on posture

Keeping your body straight and vertical is extremely important for proper running form. Your shoulders should rest just below your ears. Any time you feel yourself slouching from fatigue, make sure to stick out your chest, which will help realign your whole body.

  • Point your feet straight ahead

This could be challenging if you don’t have a straight natural stance, however it’s very important to keep your feet pointed in the direction you’re trying to go. If you train with your feet facing forward, it’ll make your marathon run go a lot more smoothly.

Taking the time to incorporate form into your training strategies will take you that extra mile, allowing you to finish your race with ease, and, more importantly, injury-free. While there is no universal or “perfect” form to adhere to, paying attention to your body and making mindful changes – even those as simple as keeping your eyes straight ahead – will impact the way you run for the better. Now that you have the tips you need to keep a strong form, it’s time to run the best race of your life!

Article submitted by DuPage Medical Group