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Sunday, August 22, 2010

5. Lean your way to great running

A slight forward lean from the ankles, with the chest & pelvis squarely aligned is a great way to gain a mechanical advantage by utilizing gravity. A forward lean also increases cadence or stride rate, which is an extremely desirable asset to the distance runner. Please note the word slight – leaning too much can create over rotation & put pressure on the core muscles & increase loading in the hamstrings & hip flexors. Do NOT lean from the waist, this is a recipe for disaster. Keep the elbows bent 90* or less – the hallmark of all great distance runners is that bent elbow. Take smaller, but quicker steps & run lightly over the running surface. However do not chop your natural stride length down – allow the speed to determine stride length. The faster you run, the more you can lean. You are trying to reduce surface interaction time, but do not want to have to either lift the foot off the ground or get to the surface too soon & increase friction. If you are leaning too much, your foot strike becomes too loud & therefore heavy & you will have to lift your legs to clear the foot to stop it from scraping the surface – this lifting is a total no-no!
© Bobby McGee – Bobby McGee Endurance Sports


  1. Hi there

    This is all new to me and I am only starting to realise that running is much more then putting your left foot in front of your right :-)
    After I went to a drill class on Saturday I had a look on the net and came accross your blog. I will be reading more :-)


  2. Hi Pia,
    Thanks for checking in - my website may have some resources that would be of interest. Running mechanics is a fascinating subject
    Best wishes,