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Improve Technique

Running Form

Altra is committed to helping runners avoid injury by teaching efficient, low-impact running technique. Just like any other sport, you’d probably take lessons to get the most out of it. Whether you are just beginning or preparing for your next race, we’ve created the “learn to run initiative” to help runners run better and healthier.

Balanced Forward Posture

  •  Stand tall, gaze forward
  •  Keep chest forward and shoulders back and relaxed
  •  Don’t bend at the waist

Compact Arms

  •  Short, compact, relaxed arm movement
  •  Pump back and recover forward, don’t sway side to side
  •  Elbows should not extend in front of the waist unless sprinting

Proper Foot Strike

  •  Land softly underneath a bent knee
  •  Avoid overstriding and excessive heel striking

High Cadence

  •  Maintain approximately 170-180 steps per minute
  •  Count 30 steps per leg in 20 seconds for a 180 cadence
  •  Light, soft & quick foot placement

Learn To Run

The purpose of the Learn To Run Initiative is to teach runners a proven, effective, and safe way to run so they can avoid injury & run faster with less effort. Good technique, once mastered, allows you to run with increased efficiency, reduced fatigue, & less risk of injury.

You would get lessons for any other sport, right? Running, like any sport, can be done with both effective and ineffective methods. Altra aims to implement running technique classes all over the country to coincide with the launch of our shoes to help runners learn to run easier, faster, & more injury free. We are born to run, however, our bodies still need to be in proper form to be the most efficient.

Running Technique Basics

When running the body should be in an upright position, balanced in a forward lean from the ankles. The core should be locked with good posture & a straight back. The chest should push forward slightly as your arms pump backward while your hips and knees extend.

Hands should stay near the chest with a short, compact, arm swing. Pump the arms back and let them recover or relax forward. To help the legs drive straight and the foot to land aligned underneath a bent knee, the arms should go forward and back with as little side to side sway as possible and the elbows should not cross forward pass the torso unless running at very high speeds. The upper body should carry over the foot leaving your feet to lift off quickly and extend behind your center of gravity. The feet should strike the ground under a bent knee as the leg begins to swing back under the body. Although the foot will contact the ground slightly in front of the body, it will feel as though it is directly underneath. For most, the full foot should typically contact the ground at the same time (a midfoot strike). However, depending on genetics, the type of footwear being warn, and the running surface, the feet may contact with a slight forefoot landing or very slight heel landing.

Foot strike should be light and quick with around 180 steps per minute cadence. Running barefoot can greatly aid in helping you to understand & master proper running form.

Injury Prevention Tip:

Aim to run at least 1/3 of your mileage on natural or uneven surfaces such as grass, cobblestones, or dirt trails-this will balance your muscle structure & strengthen your stabilizing muscles.

Right now, many running stores teach running technique classes, ask your local store! If they don’t have a class, encourage them to start one. There are many good ways to learn proper technique, here are a few of our favorites:

Altra also encourages all runners to do at least some barefoot running. Running truly barefoot teaches proper technique, strengthens feet, and has a multitude of other benefits.