Running technique for beginners

Vrijdag, 2 oktober 2015
Running technique for beginners

Running is a technical sport: if you want to run faster or more efficiently, it is good to look at your running style. There is no such thing as one running technique, but when you’re just starting out there are often many points you can pay attention to in order to improve yourself. expert Rob Veer offers a few handy tips for better running technique.

Running is a cyclical movement: you repeat the same movement over and over again with every stride. You take about 4,000 strides in a 5km training session. That also means about 4,000 landings, where you have to absorb forces of two to three times your own body weight. So it is understandable that small mistakes in your running technique can have major consequences. The running movement can be divided into the landing with support phase, the push-off phase and the swing phase.

Why is running technique important?

Running technique is important because it contributes to your efficiency, Rob Veer explains. “The more efficiently you run, the more speed you can generate with the same amount of energy. It is often said that good running technique prevents injuries; that seems obvious but has never been clearly demonstrated.”

Rob Veer believes that basic conditions such as strength, agility, endurance and coordination are actually more important than running technique. “As you run more and longer, the body ‘naturally’ seeks an efficient way of moving. Nevertheless, there are factors such as torso position, pelvic position and arm movement that can often be adjusted.”

What can you keep in mind?

There are a few things you can pay attention to when it comes to your running technique. For example, notice what’s happening with your shoulders while you’re running, Rob Veer says.

“Are they tense or are they relaxed? Make sure that your arms move well with you, from the shoulders, mainly from front to back and not too much sideways. Try to land ‘softly’ without thumping your feet down onto the ground. Your torso should be upright and may be tilted slightly forward.”

Running to the beat

It is good to choose a speed at which you are comfortable and can keep control of your running movement. Also experiment with your stride length and stride frequency. Runners tend to take strides that are too long and too slow. To vary your stride rhythm, you can make effective use of music by selecting songs based on the number of beats per minute.

Have a trainer observe you

Of course, you can never quite see for yourself how you are running. If you want to get the best out of your training, have a trainer watch you occasionally to give you feedback on your running style. Sometimes you may feel relaxed, but the trainer observes that you still have too much tension in your neck or shoulders, for example. A trainer can also see how your foot lands and indicate whether you are performing a certain exercise correctly, thus preventing you from learning new techniques inorrectly. A trainer also knows the didactics of the learning process, including the exercises you can do to either unlearn or reinforce certain things.

Rob Veer
Vraag de expert

Rob Veer


Rob gaf als 16-jarige zijn eerste hardlooptraining en doorliep alle relevante trainerscursussen van de Atletiekunie. Hij begeleidt hardlopers en triatleten via internet, van absolute beginner tot internationaal topniveau. Als expert beantwoordt hij jouw specifieke vragen.