Running Technique – Elements Of Effortless Running – Lower Body

elements of effortless running-blog

Any books you read on running technique which has the potential to reduce the risk of injuries have a few common elements. Each technique or style of running (i.e. Chi Running, Pose Method, Natural Running) has its own particular elements that sets it aside from the others, however they all state that to run with less effort and fewer injuries a runner should:


1. Land with the foot underneath the body 

That means DO NOT land ahead of your body because you overstride, break your momentum and increase impact. When you overstride you also have to power up by re-engaging the back muscle chains to start a new stride. More effort, more muscle tension, more impact, higher risk of running injuries.

If you can see your feet when you run (by looking down with your eyes and head, not by bending your whole body) it’s a sign you are probably overstriding, landing heavily in front of your body.

Bouncing up and down too much can be another sign. Usually, if you land under your General Centre of Mass you won’t bounce, you will move smoothly, almost like gliding.

This will also help reduce the rotational forces in the joints which lead to overuse injuries in the ankles, knees, hips, spine.


2. Lean the body from the ankles

This is an up-right, slightly forward leaning from the ankles, correctly aligned posture. Let gravity do the work instead of using your muscle strength.


3. Strike the ground with a midfoot strike

Another common element is the midfoot strike. If you land under your general centre of mass and use gravity to move forward there is no way you will do a heel strike. You will automatically go into a midfoot-forefoot strike.

That being said make sure you don’t run on your toes. You land on the balls of your feet and then allow the heels to touch the ground slightly. That’s it.

If, when you run, you listen closely you can tell whether you land with the ball of the foot. You will hear a “tap” and then you will feel the heel touching the ground. If you hear a “punding” that’s heavy landing and probably heel striking.

If you think about it pretty much all sports require a midfoot or forefoot body weight distribution: dancing, skiing, martial arts free sparring, even tennis. Look at the footwork in this tennis match, just the first 10 seconds.


4. Pick up the feet

Your feet are like pendulums. A long pendulum will move slower, a shorter one will move faster. So stop shuffling your legs, dragging them behind you, instead pick them up and bend your knee. 

5. Aim for optimum cadence 

Running cadence is measured by the number of strides per minute that each leg takes. The optimum running cadence is considered to be 85 to 90 strides per minute. 

If you do all of the above then you can maintain the optimum cadence.

However you have to build up gradually to this cadence if it’s not your normal. Then you keep that cadence all the time and use the lean and picking up your feet to move faster. In Chi Running you also increase the strides to increase speed. But you move faster because you lean more and relax your legs more not because you are using muscle power. You should not put effort to increase your strides, it will happen as you lean more. But first master the lean.

Running Performance And Acupuncture With Jani White

Running-Performance-And-Acupuncture-With-Jani White

The world is changing and one needs to be informed, to know the available options and to even try them out. Some may work for you while other may not, but exploring different therapies gives you the greatest chances to find the best that works for you, the one that will enhance your performance and enable you to reach your goals and beyond.

When we talk about a runner’s health we think of nutrition, strength and injury prevention. While all these are important, and I should know since I work with runners and injuries, there is a part of our bodies we seldom think about: the internal body, with its organs and hormones. This is part of a runner’s health as well and a very important one. This is one of the reasons I am talking to Jani today.

Jani is a highly experienced acupuncturist, she lectures internationally and nationally on her subjects.

We first talk about my personal experience with Jani’s treatment, when we worked on releasing tension and stress, feeling more grounded and calm.

She introduces us to acupuncture and then we talk about how it relates to runners and running performance. How it helps drive oxygenated blood to muscles for enhanced performance and faster recovery.

Acupuncture affects what is happening within your body at a neurobiological level. The majority of our neurobiological function is autonomic” (autonomic: cannot consciously control).

Acupuncture enhances and keys the autonomic system into its peak performance, streamlining your system into its peak ability, generating ultimate homeostasis” (homeostasis: the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between all the systems).

She also briefly explains what meridian channels are and how each channel relates to an organ. We all know that, as runners and not only, it’s not enough to look after our quads and core, we need to take care of our organs as well. If the internal systems don’t function properly nothing else will.

We also talk about how your surrounding environment depletes your reserves and what you can do home, right now to protect your body.

Jani’s morning alkalizing drink:

  • tsp raw honey
  • tsp cold press cranberry juice
  • tsp apple cider vinaigre
  • 6 drops of bee propolis


Links mentioned in the video:

Jani’s Website: