Improve your running technique for better performance

When I look at “leisure” runners, I often see that they run poorly technically. These are enthusiasts, highly committed, who train regularly to progress and who spoil their genetic potential and their work because they have a disastrous mechanical performance. They have a good engine but are far from the performance standards they could expect to achieve by default.

I often say ” what a pity ” that these riders do not take the time (often because of lack of knowledge, conviction, qualified supervision), to develop their motor performance capabilities, which would greatly improve their Economic performance.

Think about this caricatured image: take a car with an overinflated engine developing power. But if the transmissions are ineffective, you can develop all the available power, you will not progress much.

So yes, to be efficient, you have to work your mechanical efficiency and thus improve your racing economy.

A little theory. Running performance is always the product of frequency by amplitude. The highly trained international riders naturally find an ideal compromise but this is the product of a long work and training. Imagine a marathon of the order of 30,000 to 40,000 stride, so if you improve your stride length by 4 cm without spending more energy, you win (assumption 35,000 stride x 4 cm = 140 000 cm) the equivalent of 1400 m. Or, conversely, if you can increase your frequency from 33,000 strides to 34,000 strides (for the same stride length). Assuming an average length of 1.50 meters, you gain another 1000 x 1.50 m, that is to say, 1500 meters for the same energy expenditure.

Then imagine that:

  • You progressed in amplitude and…
  • you increase your stride frequency!

What a benefit for your times! Yes, but you will say, it’s impossible! I reply NO! It’s possible. How? By doing exactly like the champions. That is to say by integrating into your training sequences which aim to target the performance factors to improve the amplitude and the frequency.

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to integrate sequences of technique race and general coordination as well as a work of muscular reinforcement (a sequence is a moment of a determined duration of a session).

Yes, but you will still say that a recreational rider who trains only once or twice a week can devote as much time to these aspects of training as a rider who does 10 sessions per week.

That is true. But it can be remedied. This technical work, coordination, and reinforcement? Constitutes only 10% of the total training time. So in your workout, you must respect this 10 % and devote them to these peripheral factors of training.

You can integrate this work at the end of the warm-up or at the end of a session. You will see that the frequency of these sequences and the repetition of this work will prove very paying.

Here is the first list of major defects observed in riders and a series of exercises commented.

– Lack of amplitude, narrow stride (trot-menu!)
– Attack of the ground by the heel
– Very long contact time on the ground (lack of foot)
– Inability to change rhythm – uniformity of pace
– Race “seated in a chair”
– Lack of power
– Arms blocked along the body (attitude “carriers
suitcases “) – Lack of general relaxation and tension …

Where do these defects come from?

– Poor motor coordination – insufficient body control – Insufficient performance
factors – Muscle weakness

In the future, Lepape -info will make available videos of presentation of the exercises carried out by the rider (s) of all levels with the observations and comments of the coach and even better in a few weeks Lepape -info offer to Real workouts geared towards improving your running technique.

Thus many exercises will be proposed in several episodes.

So little advice right now starts to work your technique, you will appreciate all the more these videos!


How to organize? Simple. If you do 1h30 of training, you do 10mn of exercises to improve your mechanical performance. After a few months, you will already feel the considerable progress you have made in this field.

The difficulty, because there is necessarily a difficulty, is the learning of all these exercises that one can call the “ba-ba of the rider” because the good performance is necessary to optimize this work. The best is obviously to have a coach who can show them to you, observe you, correct you then put in place a progression and situations adapted to your level but here is a small catalog of possible exercises. Try first to do the simplest and repeat them in order to assimilate them well.

Description of my first series of exercises

Become aware of the supports to make the foot “available and intelligent”

  • Walk on the toes of feet about ten meters as you grow and pull your arms upwards, go back on easy walk, do 3 repetitions
  • Walk on the heels keeping the body straight, do 3 repetitions of 10 meters
  • Walk by unrolling the foot on all its surface while passing heel – tip. Do 3 repetitions of 10 meters – walk back
  • Walk while trying to unwind the heel tip – but knees slightly bent and right bust (unfold the feet in the axis). This slightly crouched shift (a bit ridiculous) is excellent for working ankle amplitude – be careful to push in the shaft.
  • After these exercises, which are very demanding for the muscles of the calf, you will do a work intended for relaxation by rotating the ankles (internal rotation and external rotation) first in a sitting position (helping you with your hands to mobilize them in all The senses) than in the standing position. (Duration 1mn)
  • Then make a more dynamic transition while walking while pulling a knee upward (pulling the knee towards the chest – tip of the foot in dorsal flexion – toes tipped up) with extension of the ground support leg
  • First, make a series with the left leg alternating a normal step and then a step with draft (20 meters)
  • Then a series with the right leg (over 20 meters)
  • Repeat 3 times on each leg
    Perform this exercise alternately right – left 2 times
  • Chain with a work called “heels-buttocks”, the upper body slightly leaned forward, slap your feet in the buttocks and then let your foot fall flat on the knee – do about fifteen meters. During the next passages, while tapping his feet in the buttocks strive to gradually pull the knee forward and up (3 repetitions).
  • Gestural frequency work in the form of “tripping” on the spot by barely taking off the feet and slightly raising the knees. You run on the spot by tapping the ground, performing the high and low running gestures of the body as quickly as possible. First on a site then with displacement – keep a high attitude with a frequency objective.
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