Have you ever thought about what your feet and legs are doing when you run or even walk? Do you lift your feet off the ground, bending your legs at the knee or do you just drag them just above the ground, shuffling, one after the other?
If you have noticed your running form then you have already changed the way you run. If you haven’t now it’s the time to do so.
Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation, but in summary the reasons you should pick up your feet instead of dragging or shuffling:
Reason #1: You will run faster
Your legs are like pendulums. And like any pendulum, a long pendulum will move slower, a shorter one will move faster.
Reason #2: You will run more relaxed, lighter on your feet
If you pick your feet without lifting and leading with the knees you will not use the quads as much, thus you run more relaxed and with less effort. The work is done by your hamstrings and only at the start of the lift, after that your hamstrings should relax.
Reason #3: Reduce the risk of injuries
First of all if you drag your feet chances are you will trip or slip at some point. Pick up your feet and you reduce those chances, a lot.
Second if you drag your feet chances are you are landing in ahead of your body (instead of underneath), actively landing (driving your feet forward), heel striking and landing with a stiff leg or ankle. All this, in time, may lead to shin splints, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and then knee pain and back pain. It’s a chain reaction in fact.
So stop shuffling your legs, dragging them behind you and pick them up and bend your knee.
Remember running is a skill of movement, and art. As with anything you want to create, it will be difficult and uncomfortable at the beginning but once you get the hang of it you won’t run anymore, you will glide.
Check out the video below with this particular technical element and also this article Running Technique – Elements Of Effortless Running – Lower Body: