The 4 Cornerstones of Natural Running
1. Posture Stand tall. Feet straight ahead. Knees soft (not locked). Relaxed arms to sides at a 90-degree angle. Relaxed shoulders. Use compact arm swings. Avoid crossing the body centre line. Lead with your chest. Push your hips forward (don't sit).
2. Foot Landing
Contact the ground with your midfoot first. The entire foot should land softly underneath the hip line with a bent knee. Run light, avoid pounding - focus on the quick turnover of the feet. Landing on the midfoot makes the best use of your body's natural cushioning anatomy and spring energy.
Lean from the ankles without bending at the waist. Use gravity to help create forward momentum. With correct forward lean you can focus on just lifting your foot and quick feet turnover, instead of pushing propulsion.
Target 180 steps per minute. A quick turnover of the feet increases efficiency and reduces ground reactive forces. Aim for the same cadence jogging as running at faster speed, just adapt the stride length. Please Note: Stride length expands backwards, not forwards! You should never land in front of the body, thereby activating a break force that sends shockwaves through the knees, hip area and lower back, all the way up to the brain.
Natural Cushioning Anatomy
With a midfoot strike under the body's centre of gravity, your body's own cushioning properties can be utilised to a full extent with minimal energy loss. This engages the body's natural spring mechanism - over 50% of the mechanic energy at footstrike is stored and released by the arch and Achilles tendon alone.
Balanced with Gravity
A low drop from heel to toe gets you balanced with gravity and facilitates a correct foot landing. An elevated heel makes you unbalanced.
Your foot should strike the ground midfoot or at the ball of the foot under the centre mass, so you can start a new stride by lifting the leg instead of pushing off. This makes it easier to run with a quick turnover of your feet, less impact, less rotational force and less use of propulsive muscular force. This is in opposition to the Walking Gait, in which you strike the ground with your heel first and roll your foot to the toes and push propulsion.