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Running analysis: From the treadmill to the streets

Most running analysis happens on treadmill or running machine and focuses exclusively on how your feet hit the ground - but what about the rest of your body? Here’s a back-to-basics guide on how to keep your run in top form.


Having your run analyzed is all well and good, but learning from the results and putting this into action outdoors is what makes the real difference.  


On has always championed cushioning rather than correction. In fact, the Cloud elements of an On shoe are engineered specifically to adapt to your stride. But the entire body is involved in running, and not using proper form can lead to injuries or imbalances if you aren’t careful. So, it is important to know the best way to use different body parts.  


The below are 9 key considerations to keep in mind for improving your own running form.



1. Head high

Imagine a helium balloon is gently pulling your head towards the sky. This alone should improve your overall posture, but it is important to maintain form even on challenging runs.


It might be difficult initially but, in the long term, you will see results.


Try to keep your eyes straight forward by looking towards the horizon but, please, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings too.


Keep your head up and your eyes forward while running


2. Shoulders down

Shoulders should be relaxed, and as far away from your ears as possible. Try rolling your shoulders back and not just dropping them down. This is a common problem with many runners, so try to make sure you check your shoulder posture regularly. If you experience pain in your arm or shoulder region during or after runs, you might be using poor form. 


If you do feel shoulder pain when you run, try squeezing your shoulder blades together and then gradually push your shoulders down before you start running. It might feel funny, but your muscles will start to remember the movement after a while.



3. Arms tight

Keep your elbows close to your body while running and ensure your hands remain by your side – do not let them fall across your chest. Imagine you are holding a pen between your upper and lower arm (in the fold of your elbows) while running.


The movement should take your arms, roughly, from just above your hip to just below your chin but don’t worry about pumping them up and down too intensely - as this wastes energy.


As you tire, your arm and shoulder form can suffer. To help stop this, try dropping your arms down and shaking them out. Or, focus on keeping your thumbs pointed to the sky. Once they start to lean inwards, you know you need to correct them.


Point your thumbs upwards to remind yourself to keep proper form


4. Back straight 

Keep your back straight and your core gently to moderately engaged. Try to stop your hips from needlessly swinging from side to side. Instead, focus on keeping them straight and level if possible. Most of your power comes from your core, so it’s important that your muscles are up to the task.



5. Accuracy, not power, with knees

Instead of driving your knees as high up as you can, focus on lifting them just enough so that your knee is directly above the middle of your foot as it lands. Try to avoid resorting to a shuffle movement where your feet barely leave the ground – something that’s common among runners as they tire.


Training with proper form is always more effective. If you’re done, you’re done. Just go again fresh tomorrow.


Focus more on your push-off than your landing. To do this, pay attention to reducing your landing phase by trying to push the earth away from you as you land  - almost like a bull scraping the ground.


The right cushioning for your feet is crucial to maintaining proper form


6. Don’t worry about how your feet hit the ground

Landing on your mid-forefoot is often recommended, but estimates suggest that roughly 90% of the population are natural ‘heel strikers’. Forcing yourself to make a change to land on your forefoot risks inefficiency or even injury. 


On unforgiving urban ground, it is important to have the right cushioning - without compromising on weight, durability or energy return. With this in mind, On has created Helion™ – a new superfoam that combines rigid, stable sections with more flexible elements. This results in benefits previously only possible with two separate materials. The first shoe to feature this technology is the Cloudswift.


The Cloudswift
Run to the beat of the city with the Cloudswift. Engineered with Helion™ superfoam for uncompromising performance in urban environments.


7. Monitor your body

The right clothes can really help boost your running from. People often overlook this because running can seem deceptively simple; all you really need is a pair of shoes, right? Maybe for some. But quality clothing will free you up so you can focus on proper form. On Performance Apparel is engineered specifically to perform even in the most testing of conditions. Check out the full range to find the right gear for your running goals. 



8. Do what feels right for you!

Nobody is the same and we all do things in our own way – why should running be different? The tips in this article are just suggestions to help you start taking steps towards improving your style and posture while running; maximizing efficiency.


If you have been running for a long time, it might feel strange to make adjustments at first. Rather than making numerous changes at one time, we recommend identifying one area where you feel you could improve the most and focus on fixing that.



9. Film yourself

It might be a good idea to film yourself or have somebody film you running. Aim to get at least 30 seconds of footage so you can get a proper look at your style. Then assess your strengths and weaknesses, and try to identify your own running style. 


To help, we’ve grouped the main runner profiles into six different categories. Find yours here as well as playlists tailored to match the natural rhythm of your run.


The Cloudswift is designed to keep you moving in total comfort - even on the toughest of concrete

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