The Running Physio

TRP's Running Blog

Injury management, nutrition, training and running tips.

Gotta Keep Your Head Up

Good posture is important for obvious reasons - our body and nervous system functions correctly when everything is properly aligned. But did you know our posture can play a large role in our running performance?

Think about it, what happens when we tire during a run? Our form collapses, our shoulders shrug up, our bodies tighten, all of which severely affect the quality of the run. Once our posture slips things tend to go from bad to worse, breathing becomes harder, our attention drifts and the negative thoughts come barreling in. Bad posture - from slouching while sitting and walking or sitting all day, can create tight muscles and uneven tension in the body throwing off your running posture and can even cause injury.

One tip we find incredibly helpful as a “posture check” during a run is to imagine an invisible string that runs from your belly button, up your core, between your shoulders and out the top of your head. When you feel your body starting to fatigue and your posture starting to slouch forward, pull up on that imaginary string, you should find that your shoulders relax and move away from your ears, your core tightens, you become more relaxed and running feels good again! Run tall, as they say.

Every few minutes during your run bring your focus to your breath and ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Is my head up, are my eyes focused ahead of me?
  • Are my shoulders relaxed and away from my ears?
  • Is my core engaged?

Our minds are full of distractions, it's impossible to be focused on your posture every minute of every run, but simply allowing yourself to check in and become aware of your it every so often will pay off in the long run!

In honour of all New York Marathon acceptance emails sent out this week, here are a few more reasons why running posture is important from none other than the New York Road Runners Association.

  • Running tall will increase lung capacity, leading to increased endurance and a more powerful running stride. It will also help athletes properly position their center of gravity and maintain proper alignment, which will prevent injuries and allow for efficient running. 
  • A general sense of relaxation can have a positive psychological effect on runners by promoting feelings of ease, comfort and control. It can also improve performance by saving the body's supply of oxygen for the muscles needed for the running motion.           
  • Releasing tension also allows the joints increased range of motion for fuller, more fluid movements.

As always if you want to learn more about your posture and just how it's affecting you while you run, check out our booking section and come chat with us!

Run tall,