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Focus on improving your basic running technique and your speed will soar

When runners are in the zone we feel invincible. We see ourselves gliding gracefully over the ground, arms driving in perfect parallel, face relaxed and happy. Then, with our race finished, we go on social media and someone has tagged us in a picture and we see how we really look when we run. Usually shocking! All those feel-good feelings go plummeting down to our throbbing feet as we see ourselves bent over, arms flailing, hands flapping.

Most of us think we look like the legendary greats when we run. The relaxed stride and high heel kick of Haile Gebrselassie. The beautiful neutral head, relaxed shoulders and forefoot strike of Tirunesh Dibaba. Surely, we look a bit like these masters?

The reality is our heads often look down, our shoulders may slouch forwards, our arms swing across our bodies, we slap down with our feet and shuffle our straight, not bent, legs. While it’s fair to say there’s no one ‘perfect’ way to run, recognising these flaws, and trying to improve our technique so we run skilfully, is the first step to becoming a stronger and better runner.

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About Women’s Running

Get fit quick with the September issue of Women’s Running, on sale now! We’ll help you find focus in your running with our four-week plans for mini running goals, from smashing out a parkrun PB to shifting a few pounds to trying your first triathlon. Bit pushed for time thanks to the kids? Our busy mums’ training guide will show you how to squeeze in a few runs - and we’ve got the lowdown on the best running buggies you can buy, too. Find out how to run well for life with our expert guide to running skills, and be inspired to try for a sub-three-hour marathon - our cover star Gemma Hockett believes anyone can do it! Find all this plus the usual advice, inspiration and kit reviews for trail and road.