Most of us know how to run on a basic level, but if you're reading this, you're interested in honing your technique.

If you want to do it properly, you need to break down the basics, from how your feet should land, to what you should be doing with your arms and how to breathe. We asked a biokineticist how to fine tune their techniques.

Find the right shoes

Your trainers should be snug around your foot, with room for your toes and ankle support. You also need to make sure your trainers are stable.

Simon Maskell, founder of Maskell Biokineticists recommends investing in running shoes that are suitable for the structure of your foot.

To ensure that you purchase the correct running shoe for you, visit a trusted medical professional that specializes in running footwear prescription.

The ideal running shoe for you and your running style will be unique. Whether you need a rigid or flexible shoe depends on the terrain you run on. Depending on your running style, you might need specialist support in your shoe.

It is a good idea to make sure the rest of your kit is up to standard. If you need something solid to support your movement, look through our guide to the best sports bras for running.

  • Read more: How running shoes should fit

How to run properly: Image of legs running up stairs

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Check your running style

According to recent research conducted by the University of Gothenburg, almost half of all recreational runners sustain injuries over a year, so it's really important to address any concerns about your running technique from the start.

Runners tend to connect their foot with the floor in three different ways. It's useful to understand what your feet are doing because the motion you use will determine how your body absorbs impact and the effect it has on your joints.

Pronation is a roll that helps to absorb energy. Pronated steppers tend to have lower foot arches, and overpronation can lead to injury.

If you have a high foot arch Supination is the outward rolling of the foot. Over supination can cause the ankle to roll.

The term neutral pronation refers to landing on the outside of the heel with an inward roll.

If you are concerned that you might be overpronating or oversupinating, it is possible to get your gait analyzed by a professional. It is possible to determine the type of support you need to keep you safe when pounding the pavement.

Supinated and neutral runners will benefit from a neutral shoe if they want to control their inward movement pattern. Those who are striking with the heel may want to consider extra protection.

How to run properly: Image shows person tying trainer laces.

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You don't have to hit the ground in a certain way. Many runners change their footstrike frequently.

During the toe-off phase of the running cycle, Maskell recommends striking the road with the mid to forefoot portion of your foot.

He says toGently drift your bodyweight forwards to increase your forward momentum and then to increase your running cadence to reduce your ground reaction force and reduce the risk of injury. Where possible, you want to avoid heel strike.

  • Read more: Correct running foot placement

Think about your pace

It is not just about running as fast as you can when it comes to the best pace to run at. You don't want to run at the same pace for a sprint as you would for a 10 km, so you need to work out some goals. If you are a complete beginner, we have a guide on how to start running.

You should run at a speed that is comfortable for you. If you start a running program at a fast pace, you will put yourself at risk of injury. When training to increase your speed, include interval-based training protocols.

It is good to think about your desired run time. What time do you want to finish your first 10 km? This will help you figure out what pace you need to keep up.

If you are an experienced runner, you can begin to calculate your pace based on training times and previous runs if you stick to a training plan.

It is possible to use one of the best running watches or fitness trackers to monitor metrics such as pace, distance, and time and log your data for reference. You can use your pace and run time to calculate distance.

There is research that suggests there is a perfect running pace. A study published in the Journal of Human Evolution found that each person has a unique optimal running pace at which they will use the least amount of oxygen to cover a distance.

Don't forget your breathing

Woman breathing deeply, looking at fitness tracker and holding earbud

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Running is an aerobic exercise that requires a lot of oxygen. The Goldilocks approach to breath is to only breathe through your nose. Too little. Do you only breathe through your mouth? Too much. Did you breathe through your nose and mouth? Just right.

You can take in more oxygen with oral breathing, but you have to breathe in it. Because the aim is to achieve maximal oxygen absorption, you're not able to do this using only nasal breathing.

There is a lot of back and forth going on. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in 2003 suggested that runners breathing in a 2:1 pattern in sync with footfall have the potential to run more smoothly and for longer.

According to research published in the Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science, practicing restricted breathing could improve the efficiency and endurance of runners over time. Different styles of breathing could net different benefits.

Sort out your arms

While you don't want to be running around with your arms flailing in the air, arm movement is crucial to driving movement forwards.

You can use your arms to assist you with forward propulsion. If you allow your arms to move across your midline, it will decrease your forward propulsion, increase your rotational force, and slow you down.

Keeping your hands close to your body is important.

Avoid common pitfalls

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to running, and many elite athletes run with different styles. When striking with the heel, overstriding can increase injury risk and joint impact. It's partly due to landing with the foot too far away from the hip and not having enough bend in the knees.

Changing your foot strike without adjusting everything else is a common pitfall. If you don't address everything else in the chain, you open yourself up to injury.

Don't run too fast or too far, make sure you enjoy yourself.

Further resources