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

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

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

How to Fix a Wide Armswing

runner who needs to fix a wide armswing

Armswing can be surprisingly difficult to fix, but when you do it right you’ll get a much bigger improvement in your performance than you probably expected. That’s because if there’s something going wrong with your armswing–such as a large, energy-wasting, and even flailing kind of action–it’s actually the result of a problem elsewhere in your … Read more

How to Keep Your Elbows from Sticking Out When You Run

How to Keep Your Elbows from Sticking Out When You Run

“Don’t stick your elbows out” is pretty common running form advice, and yet it’s a real struggle to follow. This blog post and video will sort it out completely for you. There are two ways to keep your elbows close to your sides in running, which I explain and demonstrate in the video below. The … Read more

Do You Have a Foot that Turns Inwards?

Having one foot toe in when you run isn’t on many people’s radar as a problem, but in my experience it’s connected with more pain and injury than a foot that turns outwards. In fact, chances are good that you have one of each and you’re totally focused on the outwards-pointing “duck footed” one. But … Read more

Does It Matter If Your Foot Points Out When You Run?

There are four main effects of having a foot turned outward when you run… but that doesn’t always mean you must fix it. Over the years I’ve had many clients with one or both feet pointing out. In most cases we’ve been able to improve that, but in some it’s simply structural–the way the bones … Read more