The Right Time for Running Upright

running upright makes sense when you've got a tailwind

It’s not an accident we can run so many different ways, including leaning forward and running upright. Some ways of running are generally better than others, and well-coordinated athletes will find they gravitate towards a fairly consistent set of gait characteristics I call The Balanced Runner Keys. But because truly excellent form is organized by … Read more

Test Your BRIQ: When Should You Run Upright?

when to run upright

There’s no running form “rule” that’s always true and no running form “mistake” that doesn’t serve a purpose in the right situation. So even though leaning forward is virtually always the right thing to do (get the details here), there is one circumstance when a distance runner might spontaneously run upright for a good reason. … Read more

The Purpose of Push-Off in Running

Kenenisa Bekele moves his head from side to side

“When you push off the ground, what’s the most important thing you’re pushing forwards?” That’s the question I asked last week, and I got 36 excellent, thoughtful answers–many with great insight into how running works. But only 6 of them were right: the head. When you push off the ground, you’re pushing your whole body … Read more

Test Your BRIQ: How Well Do You Understand Push-Off?

a runner's foot pushing off the ground

It’s quiz time again! Test your Balanced Runner IQ by answering this question: When you push against the ground with your foot, what’s the most important thing you’re pushing forwards? The great thing about knowing the answer to this question is that it gives you a very simple key to running faster, easier, and healthier. … Read more

Running Speed Hack

a runner can get an instant boost of speed by using this trick

Here’s a simple trick you can do to pick up the pace, especially when you want to run faster but your body just somehow isn’t responding. I’m not a big fan of tricks and hacks. I want you to learn deeply and be transformed. But tricks do have their place, especially for a runner committed … Read more

Run Faster with this Upper Body Strength Program

a good upper body strength program for runners activates the entire kinetic chain, as in this version of a lat row with leg lift

Conventional wisdom says an upper body strength program helps runners hold their posture and have a better arm carriage. But if you do it right, the benefits go way beyond that. There’s a way to do an upper body workout that actually makes your legs work better, giving you a distinct pop of energy from … Read more

Strength Training for Running–Avoid These Pitfalls!

good strength training for runners should include functional, full-body activities such as kettlebells

The idea that distance runners should regularly do strength work to avoid injury has become pretty popular in recent years. It can indeed be very helpful for performing your best, and as a human being your fitness needs include other things besides running. But there are some significant potential pitfalls to be aware of if … Read more

Should You Listen to Music While Running? It Depends.

is it okay to listen to music when you run?

Whether or not listening to music while you run is a good idea depends on why you want to do it. Let’s look at the specifics so you can find the best answer for your situation. To Tune Out Pain and Discomfort Some research suggests music effectively does this. But it doesn’t report how the … Read more

Why You Can’t Run Relaxed

Why You Can’t Run Relaxed

Excess tension saps your energy when you run and it can be pretty uncomfortable too. But it’s also hard to get rid of and it usually just comes back. Here’s why. First, consider that you’re never really relaxed when you run. Running is work! That’s part of why we do it, in fact. The feeling … Read more

Why Do I Have Trouble Breathing When I Run?

Runner out of breath

You’re running and you’re gasping for air. Is it just because you’re running really hard or is there actually a problem with your breathing? Here’s a quick test: Stand up, take a big breath in, hold it and observe: did you lift your shoulders? did your abdomen expand or pull in? did your back arch … Read more

Use Senses Instead of Sensors

Here’s a resolution that will transform you as an athlete more than anything else you could do. I realize if you were going to set a New Year’s Resolution for your running this year you’ve probably already done it. But as of today you’ve still got 357 days left in the year, so it’s not … Read more

Test Your BRIQ: Which of These People Isn’t Really Running?

Test your running form knowledge

Quiz time! Test your Balanced Runner IQ by studying these pictures and sharing in the comments which of the “runners” isn’t really running. Be sure to explain why you think so! I’ll reveal the answer in next week’s email, so if you’re not currently getting the Sunday emails, sign up here to get the answer. … Read more

Letesenbet Gidey’s 5K World Record–Running Form Analysis

Letesenbet Gidey 5k world record

“…She runs like a dragonfly hovering above lily pads on a lake,” was how someone described Letesenbet Gidey’s running form to me on Twitter. He wanted to know the specifics that create that impression:  was there something about Gidey’s beautiful form that was an asset to her successful attempt to set a new 5K world … Read more