Run Form: How To Improve Your Running Technique Using Video Analysis- Introduction

Athlete showing correct back swing in their upper arms


  • Are you confused by proper run form?  Do you wonder if your running technique is slowing you down?  Do you think your running form may be causing consistent running injuries for you?
  • Correct running technique can reduce shin splints, plantar fascitis, and other common running injuries through reducing the impacts on your legs
  • Many athletes have reported running speed increases of around 30 seconds/mile from improving their running technique
  • There is a lot of debate about run form, and no one set of running techniques is perfect for everyone, but in this article you can learn how to video yourself running, analyze your running technique and make improvements to help you run faster, further, with fewer injuries

Step one: Getting Set Up

  1. Mark your body (optional but helps)
    • Wear tight shorts (preferably spandex)
    • Place a large black mark with a sharpie on the bone bump on the outside of your camera-side knee
    • Place another mark on the non-camera side knee on the inside (opposite the wide bone in your knee)
    • Place a 3rd mark on the camera side ankle on the bony bump in your ankle
    • Place a 4th mark on the non-camera side ankle on the inside of your ankle on the bony bump
    • Place another mark (perhaps with light tape on your dark spandex) on the bone on your camera-side hip- this is the leg bone where it pushes through, NOT the hip bone
  2. Treadmill: (preferred method)
    • Place the iphone about 15 feet from the treadmill, balancing it on a table or a chair.
    • You want it at about waist level to the person on the treadmill.
    • Make sure you can see the whole person and the full length of their stride
  3. Running Track (another option, best with a partner)
    • Place the partner at the “Center of the curve” of the corner of the running track (ie even with the beginning and end of the curve, on the line between them.)
    • This will make it so that the runner runs around the cameraperson with one side steadily showing
  4. No treadmill, no partner:
    • balance the iphone on a stand/table/chair about 15 feet from where the runner will pass, at right angles to the straightaway
    • Run past the phone with the video running- works ok for some measurements

Step 2: Taking the video:

    1. Have the runner run for a few minutes to loosen up
    2. have them hit their approximate race pace (for whatever race they are training for, 5k to ironman.  Don’t have them go too fast- if you are training for an ironman, dont take video running 6 min miles!)
    3. Take video- a longer clip (30 seconds) is best if you are using a treadmill.

How to measure angles in ubersense:

  • Take a video (hit the big red circle button), then hit “done,” then file the video properly
  • In the review mode (microphone appears in red circle on top of screen) scroll to the spot you want on the video (use either the right vertical scroll bar or the bottom bar)
  • Hit the “pencil” button in the upper right corner
  • Hit the “angle” button in the middle of the new menu- its the angle with the arc through it
  • Then you drag the three dots so that the middle one is in the corner of the angle, and the other two dots are at the ends of the angle you are trying to measure
  • I find it much easier to put the “end dots” beyond the dots I am trying to measure, and that way I have more precision to get the angle where I want it.
Note: There are many competing schools of thought on proper run form, and no one approach will work for everyone, and competent experts do disagree with each other on many of the finer points.  This article is meant as a consensus approach that may work for a number of people.  Ultimately the user is responsible for knowing if something is unsafe, uncomfortable or injurious.  Feel free to use these suggestions but realize that the authors or ubersense are in no way responsible if you hurt yourself or run over a kitten while using the app or while running using your newly modified technique afterwards.

Proper Run Form: Introduction
Proper Run Form: Chapter 1: Running Cadence
Proper Run Form: Chapter 2: Overstriding
Proper Run Form: Chapter 3: Vertical Bounce
Proper Run Form: Chapter 4: Stride Angle
Proper Run Form: Chapter 5: Leg Extension
Proper Run Form: Chapter 6: Toe Lift
Proper Run Form: Chapter 7: Leg Crossover
Proper Run Form: Chapter 8: Arm Swing
Proper Run Form: Chapter 9: Conclusion

T1_Coach is the head coach at T1 Triathlon Coaching.  He coaches triathletes of all types, from beginners to an athlete racing at Kona this year.  He has a special focus on newer athletes and first time ironman racers, and focuses on seamlessly integrating training and the complicated demands of working professionals and parents.  He is a USAT L1 Coach, and has a full-iron PR of 9:32.



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