Week 5 RunWalk Newsletter

RunWalk Techniques

We’ve made it through our first recovery week of this 13-week program and now we’re back to building. Just like the training program, I’m sure sometimes these newsletters can seem overwhelming as there is a lot of content within them; but trust us, the content is there to make you a stronger and smarter uninjured runner/walker.

We’ve got some great webinars and in-person visits coming up in the next few weeks so be sure to keep your eye on the newsletters for important dates.

We’re going to be talking about common problems, positioning and even technique so keep scrolling! There is a lot to learn!

Happy Running!
Janette Shearer
Online Communications Manager


Muscles In Motion Guest Speaker (Tilman von der Linde) p.1 – runner-specific stretches and self-massage techniques designed for the FOOT & LOWER LEG – Feb. 26th 7PM via Zoom. RSVP Link

2024 Spring RunWalk 5K FUN RUN at Deer Lake Burnaby – Open to all – March 3rd – RSVP Link

Muscles In Motion Guest Speaker (Tilman von der Linde) p.2 – stretches and self-massage techniques specifically designed for the KNEE & UPPER LEG. March 4th 7PM via Zoom. RSVP Link

The Big 80’s Run by Big Fun Run Series on March 9th –  www.Big80sRun.com – Save $5 with code SMBC5

Muscles In Motion Guest Spearker (Tilman von der Linde) p.3 – stretches and self-massage tricks tailor-made for the HIP & LOWER BACK. March 11th 7PM via Zoom. RSVP Link


Although each runner is a case study of 1; there are some basic elements

Why good form is important? It is integral to the prevention of injuries, i.e. poor form can put excessive stress on the joints & tissues during repetitive, long duration exercise. This in turn can lead to the development of a more chronic overuse injury. Good form also helps prevent the wasting of valuable energy reserves, which are needed to ensure completion of the training session/race.


· When planting your feet, ensure that they are pointed straight- forward, parallel to one another.

 · Foot placement should be directly underneath your hip.

· When you toe off at the end of each stride, you want to propel your body straightforward not sideways. Beginning runners will land flat to mid-foot. Avid runners will learn to push off more aggressively and gradually develop a greater range of motion.  The foot is a lever and the more of it you can use …the better!

 · It is important to emphasize the backwards acceleration or driving backwards of the thigh when you strike the ground with your foot.


· Hip flexibility (or lack of) directly affects your stride length. Good range of motion is crucial to an efficient, injury free running style. If the major muscles of the hip are too tight the result for an avid runner can be a short, choppy, “shuffling” form of running. This would be a good time to demonstrate a hip flexor stretch.


· Your torso or upper body should be erect with your pelvis tucked in (neutral position). Think of running tall!

· Proper arm movement is beneficial to the “flow” of the whole body in both walking and running. To emphasize this point, have participants hang their arms at their side, and begin to walk or jog without moving them. This will demonstrate how critical the arms are for maintaining balance, forward momentum and forward flow!

Shoulders and Arms:

· You have a natural arm swing that starts at the shoulder joint. For walkers, there are two options: the arms can be slightly bent at the elbow with the wrists relaxed or a more aggressive positioning would be the arms bent approximately 90 degrees at the elbow with the fingers slightly curled.

· For runners, the arms tend to be bent (approximately 90 degrees) at the elbow with the fingers slightly curled. · Shoulders should be low and loose, not high and tight. Focus on keeping the shoulders square and driving the arms backwards only. This will create a rebound effect and send the arms forward.

We all have a natural running style. The trick is to try and make yourself as efficient and economical as possible.


  • Over-striding – Occurs when, in an effort to increase stride length, the knee locks out as one reaches with the lead foot. The foot lands in front of the center of gravity causing an increased jarring and braking as well as a decreased ability to absorb shock.

Proper Form: As the leg extends with each stride, the foot should strike the ground under the hip and with the knee slightly flexed.

  • Upper Body Twisting – Running is a linear activity. If excessive upper body twisting occurs, energy that could be used to direct the body forward is expended in wasted rotational motion. If the upper body twists, the arms and feet tend to follow and cross the midline resulting in an inefficient and injury prone form of running or walking.

Proper Form: Concentrate on moving your arms through 90 degrees while keeping your upper body square.

  • High Hands, Hunched Shoulders – When fatigue sets in, the hands tend to rise and the shoulders hunch up. This leads to increased muscle tension in the upper body muscles and wasted energy.

Proper Form: The shoulders and hands should stay relaxed and loose throughout the training session. Proper posture would include: head up and eyes focused ahead; shoulders square, pulled back and down; chest lifted, abdominals contracted (pressed toward the spine) and the pelvis in a neutral position.

  • Shuffling – The shuffling runner typically suffers from decreased knee lift and hip flexion and may use excess arm and hip swing to compensate.

Proper Form: Developing adequate hip and knee flexibility and strength can assist in establishing good form.

Tip: This is a good time to demonstrate a hamstring and quadriceps stretch. As well think about bending your legs as you step up and over the opposite ankle. (Toe up, Heel up, Knee up).


  • Swinging arms across the chest

• Encourage the athlete to drive their elbows straight back

  • Foot strike in braking position (i.e. too much heel strike)

• Strengthen the hip flexors

• Get the athlete to run in a taller position

  • Sitting position

• Strengthen the core area of the body • Higher knee lift

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