Long-Distance Running Technique: 5 Basic Rules

Learning to run for a long time and is safe for your health, which means that everyone can do it right. For someone it will take two months, while for others it may take six months.

With the right running technique, you can confidently race long distances and perform well.

The human body is designed for two types of movement: walking and running. All others, including swimming or skiing, are not natural movements, they need to be taught. And we know how to run and walk from birth – these are our natural movements. But our way of life, including shoes, disrupts our natural reflexes.

Running correctly means running for a long time and without injuries. And if a person ran and his muscles do not hurt, then he did it right. The goal of long runs is to run as long and as fast as possible. The challenge is to save energy.

5 basic rules of long-distance running technique

Here are 5 fundamental rules by which power hour runners are guided.

1. Observe the housing position

The slower you run, the more vertical your body should be. If the speed increases, then a tilt of no more than 5 degrees is allowed. The shoulders are relaxed and laid back, the head is an extension of the torso, the eyes look straight.

2. Easily and quickly remove the leg from the support

Running for a long time is not associated with the powerful take-off that sprint running has.

3. Land on the forefoot

Slightly lifting the leg off the support close to the center of gravity results in a soft landing, without throwing the leg forward.

To improve running performance, you need to position your foot correctly during the stance phase. The foot should land softly: first you need to put the front part, and then gradually the rest. If this is observed, then the pace and speed will be maintained, which will allow you to run a long distance.

4. Increase the cadence

The pace or cadence should be approximately 170-180 steps per minute. For a person running in a shoe with high cushioning, the cadence is much lower – 160 or fewer steps per minute. This means that the runner has a lot of muscle effort and a long stance phase.

This is not a good thing in that muscle effort causes a large expenditure of energy. It is also traumatic: the muscles are attached to the bones with the help of a tendon, and a large muscle effort causes overstretching. Running like that day in and day out can cause inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

Running in a high cushioning shoe does not use elastic tension energy. In the physiological stretching of the tendons and ligaments, the runner uses the energy of elastic tension and compression. This energy is used to absorb the impact upon landing and the subsequent propulsion of the body forward. Propulsion is passive pushing.

5. Learn to relax

All of our body parts must contract and relax while running. First of all, the shoulder girdle and arms. But it is important to be able to relax your legs.

All these listed points can be called the basis of correct long-distance running technique.

Influence of sneakers and gadgets on correct running technique

The type of shoe also affects the correct running technique. Nowadays, many companies produce sneakers with a high degree of cushioning, thereby enabling the runner to land on the heel. And landing on the heel entails a series of other mistakes: throwing the legs forward, the excessive tilt of the torso, excessive muscle effort, high energy consumption, loss of speed and overexertion.

Now gadgets can also help control some points of correct running technique. So, you can see your cadence or stride length in almost all running applications. They also show you the number of calories burned while running, your pace, distance, heart rate and total workout time. With an app on your phone that syncs with your watch, you can track your progress, analyze your recovery, and predict your results for future races.

How to breathe properly while running?

For a long-distance runner, it is important to monitor your breathing. Breathing should be combined – through the mouth and nose. The rhythm of breathing in long-distance running depends on the speed of movement.

With low running speed, one breathing cycle is performed in 6 steps, with an increase in speed – in 4 steps. Breathing is done through the mouth, emphasizing exhalation, not inhalation

How to train your running technique more effectively?

It is better to study running technique with a trainer, at least remotely. It is necessary to devote a lot of time and energy to the performance of special running exercises, as well as the specific strength of the runner, mobility in the joints, in particular the hip, ankle and toe joints. Special attention is paid to strengthening and developing the flexibility of the feet. Without it, it’s hard to count on injury-free power running.

Often, people run incorrectly because of overly cushioning shoes. It “tricks” our proprioceptors of the feet and thereby alters our natural reflexes. Another reason lies in the lifestyle (physical inactivity), weak muscles in general and weak feet in particular.

During long runs, it is important to keep an eye on the amount of vertical oscillation to increase efficiency; it should be small, less than 9% of the stride length. You can find out with the help of a sports watch that provides information about the vertical ratio. Economical vertical vibrations shorten flight times and stance phases. All this contributes to maintaining the running speed with a slight decrease in power.

The position of the hands also affects the effectiveness of running over long and extra-long distances. You need to bend your arm at the elbow at a right angle or less. When the arm moves backward, the elbow should also be pointing there and outward.

How long does it take to set the running technique?

To develop and consolidate a good running technique, on average, it takes from 10 weeks to six months. However, even high-profile runners periodically work to maintain optimal running technique throughout their careers.

Each person has his/her own pace of learning the running technique. Someone may take several workouts for this, while someone will have to spend several months on it. But as soon as you master the technique and stick to it in your workouts, then jogging will become pleasant and useful for you.

Summary

Running is the most accessible and inexpensive sport: it helps to lose weight, improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, fights depression and stress, improves metabolism and overall well-being. This is an incredible freedom and the opportunity to be alone with yourself or, on the contrary, in the company of like-minded people. By practicing the correct running technique, you are laying a solid foundation that will allow you to continue running with pleasure, for a long time and without injuries.