Sports & Gaming

Running Techniques

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Lesson time 08:01 min

In this lesson, Joan shows you how to identify and embrace your natural running style. She discusses breathing techniques, maximizing your stride, and getting the most from your arm movement.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Stride and Cadence - Breath Work - Hills - Discover Your Arms


[MUSIC PLAYING] - When it comes to running technique, there's a ton of information out there. And sometimes that information is hard to navigate and process. The best advice I can give to you is to feel like yourself out there, to feel natural about the way you're running. Don't try to adapt to a prescribed running style. Run with your body and your mind in a way that feels natural and puts you in a position of inner peace if you will. You need to feel fluid. You need to feel as though your body is responsive to the effort you're putting in, to put one foot in front of the next. People have different stride lengths. People have different cadences. People have different arm swings. These are all factors that influence stride and efficiency and cadence. But I think, the best tip I can offer runners is to say, run the way you feel. And you know there are certain golden rules, so to speak, but there's always an exception to the golden rule. [MUSIC PLAYING] So when you're running on a flat surface, which is where most runners run, you need to be aware of a few things. Stride is the length that you cover between your landing foot and your takeoff foot. And the number of strides you take per minute is called your cadence. And an optimal cadence for most runners is 180 steps per minute. Beginner runners think, if I have a long stride, I'm going to cover more ground with each stride. But are you running efficiently? By taking smaller steps, you're apt to take faster steps because you're not braking to slow down that longer stride and to keep yourself balanced. It makes perfect sense that if you have a long stride, you're covering more ground and the faster you're going to be. But if that's not efficient for you, then perhaps you want to work on stride length, exercises, and drills, and things like that. When you're running on a flat road, you want to feel efficient. You want to be comfortable with your stride. You want to feel like you're covering ground in good time, that you have a cadence that relates to your ability or experience as a runner. And it's going to take beginning runners a little bit of time to develop that cadence that's optimal for them. And you want to feel relaxed. You don't want to be over-striding. You don't want to be braking to let your trail leg catch up with your lead foot. You want your knee and your foot landing under your center of mass. And you just want to feel like you're out for a run. People have tried to change my stride many times. And it's never worked. It is what it is. And it will always be what it is until I can't run any further. My stride is the way it is because that's the way I have grown and evolved over the years of my life and my running career. There are lots of different ways to think about breathing when you're running. And there are all sorts of techniques and styles when it comes to breathing, in much the same way as their different foot ...

About the Instructor

Winner of the very first women’s Olympic marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson has spent her life breaking records and paving the way for female runners around the world. Now she’s teaching her personal philosophy and approach to running. Whether you’re an experienced runner or have been thinking about getting started, you’ll learn how to get motivated, set goals, and achieve victory in running and in life.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Long-distance legend Joan Benoit Samuelson teaches her personal approach to running so you can go further in running and in life.

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