A firefighter by profession, Chris Ledford of Fort Worth, Texas, enjoys running in his free time. Chris Ledford of Fort Worth, Texas, has challenged himself to run a 5K every month and has run more than 348K already in 2016.
To run effectively and safely, an athlete needs to maintain proper form. The foundation of good form is a strong posture with a slight forward lean from the ankles. The head should stay level and the stride smooth. If this part of the runner’s form is correct, he or she will feel minimal bouncing with each stride.
A good runner’s stride is short and quick. The body stays over the hips, which center over the knees and feet. This helps the runner to avoid hitting the ground heel first, a habit that inhibits good propulsion. Runners who have developed a heel strike can often correct this habit by running in bare feet for 20 seconds to a minute, as this allows the body to rediscover its natural stride.
The runner must always take care to keep the knees in line with the feet. The elbows should remain bent at an angle of 90 degrees or less, and the hands need to stay relaxed. The hands should also always be held below the chest and must not cross the body’s mid-line, as over-crossing can pull the body out of line. In general, a sense of being straight and relaxed helps the runner to maintain good form.