Written By Barefoot Dawsy
Running barefoot can be very unforgiving to bad form, so it’s essential to aim to improve all aspects of it as you learn to run unshod. One of the most important parts of this has little to do with where your feet meet the ground, but everything to do with the rest of your body. What I’m referring to is posture.
When running it’s really important to have your head, shoulders, hips, and feet aligned. By keeping each of these parts positioned directly above the other, you can reduce the amount of energy spent just holding yourself up, and will also improve the quality of your breathing.
A lot of runners tend to want to bend forward as they run. They bend at the hips and even slouch their shoulders, which not only looks a bit odd, but also restricts their breathing and engages a lot of extra muscle tissue unnecessarily.
One of the reasons for this behaviour, I think, is that runners are often instructed to ‘lean forward’ when running. This is good advice, but is often misinterpreted. What you should be doing is pushing your hips forward slightly. If you do this with correct posture, the effect will be that you are impelled to move forward by shifting your centre of gravity just a little off centre.
Leaning too far, or bending over, can overdo it and cause your form to fall apart.
So, on your next run, focus on running tall, keeping everything in line, and using your hips to ‘lean’ with, and you’ll be on the road to improved running efficiency before you know it.