Running technique is easy to answer when you watch children playing. The child makes no real effort to running. They just run. One foot in front of the other and off they go. There is a proper running form to help prevent running knee pain.
Natural running or to run light is the ideal running technique. Your feet should hit the ground almost under your body. This allows you to land on the ball of your foot or land on the outside of the foot. Then you are rolling off the ball of the foot for takeoff.
Landing on your heels first is what I learned was the proper jogging technique. That was 34 years ago. This method requires a long stride. It puts strain on the shins and knees and can cause lower back pain. Moreover, and worst of all–it is exhausting.
As a marathon runner, I can tell you that landing on your heels after 20-plus miles feels unnatural. It also feels like it requires a whole heck of a lot more energy. After 20 miles, you really notice extra energy requirements. It can be a revelation to your running technique.
My last marathon proved this point to me. It had been a difficult long run. I was tired. I had trouble keeping my body upright while running.
to my point, which was that this marathon had me shortening my stride
and landing on the balls of my feet by the 20-mile mark. It felt
natural. It also felt easier.
Now my personal experience proves to be the case as experts suggest a change in running technique to increase efficiency and reduce running jogging injuries*.
The best running technique, whether landing on your mid-foot or forefoot, is to use a light step. I should not be able to hear you coming up behind me. It is almost a gliding above the surface of the earth. That is why runners often comment that I came from nowhere to pass them in a 5k race. They did not hear me.
No pounding of your feet as you run. I am getting a picture of an elephant charging through the jungle tramping down anything that gets in his way.
It requires so much effort on your part to pound the ground. That extra force has to go somewhere. It just comes right back up your feet and ends up in your knees, back and hips. There is trouble brewing here.
Even heavier runners should make the conscious effort to jog light. Be light footed. Heavy runners can learn how to start jogging light. Running for weight loss will probably occur even if not your first intention. As you start to lose weight, you will be more apt to notice a heavy pounding action of your feet if present. Work to correct this with proper running technique.
Run proud. Run strong. Run upright.
Glover, Bob and Shepherd, Jack. A
Complete Fitness Guide for Men and Women on the Run, The Runner’s
Handbook, Penguin Handbooks; Reprinted 1978. ISBN 0-14-046.325-9