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    Seven Ways to Improve Your Running Form

    By Katie Jackson
    3/10/2014 10:49:09 AM

    No shoes, no shirt, no problem? Most of the time running requires not much else besides a pair of sneakers, and it's widely considered to be the world's most accessible sport. But just because it's accessible, doesn't mean that it's simple. In fact, some people like Tony Gulley, the regional director and resident running guru at O2 Fitness, make a living by helping others improve their running regimen-not by adding minutes or miles-but by breaking down the body's individual movements and mechanics. Here are seven tips that Tony shares with his clients who range from new beginners to long-time running enthusiasts.

    Credit: Flickr/blushingmulberry

    All Feet Are NOT Equal: The first part of your kinetic chain to touch the ground while running is your feet. Our feet are designed to propel us forward, but over time we begin to compensate which puts more stress on our joints and muscles. A common running mistake is picking any running shoe without getting your feet analyzed by a professional. A professional assessment, or gait analysis, will analyze any compensations you have and allow the professional to recommend the right shoe for you and your goals.

    Related Links:
    The 20 Best Running Shoes of 2014
    How to Pick the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
    The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
    14 Must-Run Spring Races

    Go Big and Go Foam: Foam rolling, or self-myofascial release (SMR), is a very important and oft overlooked part of a runner's program. It not only improves circulation to help prepare the body for exercise but it also inhibits overactive muscles. Without a workout program that includes both strength and stability, our body begins to compensate, and we develop overactive and underactive muscles. Foam rolling allows you to inhibit the overactive muscles and integrate the underactive muscles back into your workouts and daily activities.

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