Running for beginners: Form, breathing, pace

Tips from our Couch to Race program coordinator

Beginning a new running routine can be challenging, but knowing how to run can improve your experience and get you excited about your new exercise endeavor. All you need are a good pair of running shoes and three basic techniques: running form, breathing and pace. Once you’ve mastered these, your running can take you anywhere.

Form tips

  • Try to land mid-foot, directly under the knee. Heel striking and landing with your knee in front of the foot could lead to injuries.
  • Push up and off, focusing on the ground behind you.
  • Keep your hips in line with your knees. Avoid tilting your pelvis by keeping the spine in neutral alignment.
  • Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees and close to your sides.
  • Keep your hands loose and in front of you. Think “T-Rex” arms and hands.
  • Stay upright, looking ahead, with shoulders back. This will allow for better breathing.

Join the Couch to Race training program

Connect with other participants and get support from athletic and sports health professionals.

Join Couch to 5k

Join Couch to 10k

Norton Children’s Hospital Splash ‘n’ Dash Walk/Run

Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019

5k begins at 9 a.m. ● 1k begins at 10 a.m.

Louisville Waterfront Park ● Big Four Lawn

Register now

Breathing tips

  • Breathe from your belly, not your chest. Work the diaphragm.
  • Establish a breathing pattern. Many runners follow the 2:2 pattern — inhale for two steps, and exhale for two steps. More experienced runners may do a 3:2 pattern — inhale for three steps, exhale for two. Find what comes naturally for your pace, and focus on it during your run.

Pace tips

  • Slow down! You don’t need to run as hard as you can when you are going out for a few miles. Start slow; see how you feel, then settle in with your breathing.
  • If your breathing is labored, slow down! You should be able to hold a conversation when jogging.
  • Try running with a watch or activity tracker that shows your pace. Take a look at it a few times as you run to see if you can maintain your pace. If your breathing is labored, you probably have unintentionally sped up.
  • Try a run/walk combo, such as a 3/1-minute run/walk, to increase the period of time your body can handle moving. As it gets easier, increase the minutes you run/walk.
  • Let go of your expectations and don’t compare yourself to others. Just enjoy yourself and your time outdoors.

Appointments

(502) 629-1234

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.