In Running

January 01, 2008

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Have you ever wondered "What is proper running form?" or "Am I doing this right?" while getting some in a CrossFit workout or just out on leisure run? If you watch track and field runners, you might become even more confused. Some runners are smooth like gazelles; some are awkward like fish out of water. Some have powerful knee drives while others have none and shuffle their feet. So why is there so much variance in running technique and form? Because every person has their own running style depending on their individual physical differences.

Exactly how these biomechanical elements are expressed in your individual style always depends on your physical characteristics and body structure. However, while everyone has their own style, there are still basic, biomechanical positions and functions that are required to be the most energy efficient, to generate the most power and speed, and to prevent injury. The following is a mechanical breakdown from the head down to the feet.


Keysha McClenton-Benzing earned her B.S and M.S in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton, while also competing for the Titans as a four-year varsity letterman in cross country and track. She was three-time athlete of the year, two-time All-Conference, and two-time NCAA Nationals qualifier, and she holds two school records in the 800 meters and the 4 x 400-meter relay. She and her husband Skipp are both strength and conditioning coaches at the University of San Diego. She is still competing as a National-level Olympic weightlifter and an Olympic Games hopeful in the 800 meters. Keysha gives special thanks to Ed Nuttycombe, Jim Stinzi, Mark Guthrie (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Kenny McDaniel (Arizona State University), Mike Powell (University of California, Los Angeles), and Brandon Campbell and John Elders (California State University, Fullerton): "They are all outstanding track and field coaches who have all been involved in my training and have influenced my training philosophies today."

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