How to Run: 5 Fundamentals of Form

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"If you're making a lot of noise, you're running poorly"

Last month brought us the premiere of BOOKD, a new bi-weekly video series exploring "game-changing books." After discussing the most important food politics book of the past half-century, they've turned their lens to Christopher McDougall's 2011 bestseller Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (public library), which looks at the most popular athletic activity in the world and argues that we might have been doing it wrong all along.

Here, Harvard evolutionary biology professor Daniel Lieberman offers 5 do's and don'ts for how to run right:

  1. DON't overstride. Don't land with your foot in front of your knee -- it makes you decelerate and lose energy and sends a shockwave of impact up your body.
  2. DO land with a flat foot. Land -- gently -- on the ball of your foot or with a midfoot strike, not on your heel.
  3. DO run vertically. Don't lean forward at the hips.
  4. DON't "thump." If you're making a lot of noise, you're running poorly.
  5. DO ease into it. Listen to pain. Don't overdo it. If you transition to run properly too fast, you're guaranteed to injure yourself -- you need to adapt your body.
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Catch the full episode below, and dive deeper with the book itself.

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This post also appears on Brain Pickings, an Atlantic partner site.

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Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

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