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Basics of Running

“ There is no substitute for speed “ Jonathon Davies – Welsh Rugby Legend



There are 3 phases within running, and each can be worked on independently within a coaching framework.


Put together they form the basis of good running technique.


The 3 phases are Support Phase, Toe off or drive Phase and Flight Phase.


The Support phase is when the athlete’s foot lands on the floor. How the foot lands and supports the athlete’s body weight is a key component on running correctly without injury.


The Toe Off is when the momentum of the body is moving forward. Drive down and backwards through forceful extension of the hip, knee and ankles. This projects the body upwards & forwards. Importance of full extension to provide greater impulse maximising forward momentum is important for running and vital in sprinting. When you look at the Toe Off image, focus on the athletes right leg. The athlete creates a near triple extension, which is the straightening of the leg from the hip all the way down to the ankle joint.


The Flight phase is when you both feet are off the ground. This differs greatly in many runners and also differs greatly in runners and sprinters.


Breaking the running technique down into bite-size actions is necessary to help develop a “good” injury free running style. Injuries occur for many runners and a majority occur due to incorrect running technique.


Always learn to run from a qualified athletics coach, or someone who has experience working with athletes on a very regular basis. A “coaches eye” only occurs through coaches who understand the bio-mechanics of movement.

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