SARASOTA – Running is very much a technique sport whether you’re on a treadmill or outside.

Crunch Fitness personal training manager Dave Condell says there’s always a chance for injuries such as shin splints or knee pain. So why not do the best you can to protect yourself ?

“So there’s not really a right or wrong way,” says Condell, “as much as there is an optimal way to do something.”

The optimal way in this case starts with technique. First and foremost comes posture. Think about running ‘tall’. Stand upright with your shoulders back and head up.

“We tend to get tired so we want to hunch over a little bit. And that just continues a problem where we have a collapsing diaphragm. And again, that causes the shortness of breathing and that causes us to labor a little bit more. And the more we labor, the more we bend over and so on and so forth, so it just kind of self fulfills.”

Next, shorten your stride. Runners should try to keep their feet under their body to avoid leading with the heel.

“The bottom of your heel is all bone. There’s very little tissue there. So when your heel comes out in front, there’s not much to absorb the shock or impact of your body weight coming down on the ground.”

Condell says to think like running like a  stallion. Master the fundamentals and test them with intensity.

“That’s when you walk or run at a brisker pace. And if you’re able to hold that technique together, then you add volume.”