Running Technique Details

  1. Toe Ups - It is important that you think not just about lifting the toes when performing this action, but decreasing the angle of the foot from the front of the leg - doing this allows your hamstring to work with greater efficiency pulling your heel up and therefore decreasing the time a stride takes.
  2. Heel Up - Often when a runner has poor or tired running technique the foot follows a large arc when coming up towards the backside. Our aim here is to pull it straight up, fast. In doing so we reach the same final position as the arced motion, just quicker.
  3. Knee Up - Coaches can often be heard working on running technique by telling athletes to lift their knees higher, particularly when coaching sprinters. This is because it allows for the greatest range of movement - and hence a longer stride length. This is very important, but will prove to be counter-productive if the lift of the knee comes above a position where the leg is parallel to the ground.
  4. Reach Out - For the same reason as it is important to lift your knees high, extending your leg out straight allows for the greatest stride length possible. It should be remembered here that we are concentrating on moving the whole body straight down the track, you foot should move perpendicularly to the direction you are running - any lateral movement will cause a wastage of energy.
  5. Claw Back - Finally, we come to clawing back. This may sound like a strange thing to do as it shortens your stride slightly and you are trying to make your foot move in the opposite direction to which you are running. It is however important for two reasons, firstly, if your foot were to land in front of your centre of gravity, it would act as a brake on your body - commonly refered to as over striding. Secondly, by starting to claw back you are preparing to contact with the ground and get into the next stride as soon as possible. One of the primary things that differentiates Michael Johnson with most of his competitors is that he spends far less time with his foot in contact with the ground.