Do You Have the Correct Running Style?

One of the things that people get concerned about, whether they’re a beginner runner or have been running for years, is their running style.

Here’s where I’ll give you some tips to help you improve your running style and I’ll also show you a video that you may find interesting…

But the first thing I want to say is "Don’t worry too much about your running style".

The reason why I say this is because if your goal is to use running to lose weight then your running style shouldn’t be at the top of your list of priorities.

Other factors will help you much more like being consistent with your running, using the right running methods in the right way, and putting the right amount of time and effort in.

Rather than trying to perfect your running style you’re better off running naturally and focussing on how best you can use running to lose weight. Your running style will improve anyway as you get more practice and lose more weight.

The main time that you need to worry about your running style is when you have some major flaws that are either slowing you down or making it more likely that you’ll become injured.

To make sure that you’re on the right track here are some simple tips to explain what you should be doing…

  1. Keep your head up and looking forward

Often people run with their head down while looking only a few metres ahead. This makes it harder to breathe (obviously not good for running), and it tends to pull your upper body forward.

  1. Keep your upper body upright

A lot of people wanting to lose weight, hunch over when they run. This again makes it harder to breathe because it constricts your chest. It also places you in an unnatural running position that puts more strain on your back.

  1. Let your arms and shoulders relax

Your arms and shoulders should feel loose and relaxed. If your arms are too high up and you have stiff shoulders then you’ll tend to sway your upper body from side to side rather than moving your arms.

The tension in the shoulders not only makes you slower but you’re also more likely to feel aches in your back.

  1. Land with your feet underneath your body

If your feet land in front of your body they tend to act more like a brake which slows you down. This also puts more strain on your legs which makes injury more likely to occur.

You don’t need to be perfect

I hope you can see that this isn’t hard or complicated at all. You don’t need to have anywhere near a perfect running style to lose weight and do well with your running.

While good running style can help, even some of the greatest runners of all time have had major flaws in their running style which shows that it’s not essential by any means.

Let’s look at an example….

Paula Radcliffe is the fastest women ever over a marathon.

The video below is from the 10000m final at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Although she was running with an injury, I’ve seen her run many times and this is her normal running style.

Notice how her head moves up and down and side to side. Also notice how all the other athletes in the race have better running styles, yet it’s Paula who has the fastest marathon time.

This is also quite an emotional video, and although you should never run with an injury I hope it inspires you to keep going and always give running your best.

If some of the greatest runners ever have flaws in their running style then why should you, me, or anybody else in the world be fixated about perfecting our running style?

Yes a good running style can help but your running style is not as important as other factors when helping you lose weight. You can even become an outstanding runner with a very average running style.

Make sure you have the basic running style in place, like I’ve described above…

And then concentrate on improving other areas of your running, enjoying running, and losing weight.


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4 Responses to Do You Have the Correct Running Style?

  1. Shelly says:


    I have been trying to get myself into running, but things have got in the way. Now it is almost winter and I need advice. Is is safe to run in winter, and if it is , what is the best attire and foot gear should you use? Thanks.

    • James says:

      Who’s Jon? 🙂

      Yes it is safe to run in the winter Shelly, unless it’s icy underfoot and then I’d suggest using a treadmill.

      To feel the most comfortable on your run, and to be safe, you need specialist running clothes that keep you warm, wick sweat away from your body, and have reflective material.

      The right running shoes depend on what surfaces you’ll be running on, how much running you’ll be doing, and what running style you have.

      The best thing to do to get the right gear at the start is to visit a specialist running store and they will show you the available clothes and running shoes.

  2. june says:

    Thank you for your great tips on running i do run up big steep hills is this ok for Running i have been doing this for 2 years and have not hurt myself i do run on Flat pavements and through the park as this helps me to get the fresh air and Get rid of tension i dont just run to lose Weight it just helps me in my well being And relaxation again thanks

  3. Patricia says:

    James please keep the emails coming they really help.Patricia