A Healthier U

improve your running form

By Laura LaMarche, DPT

Training for a marathon or half marathon can put a lot of strain on your body. But there are things you can do to improve your form and reduce the impacts.

Watch Your Pace

Believe it or not running at too slow of a pace can cause injury. Figure out your steps per minute (spm) by counting one foot’s landing for 30 seconds and multiplying by four. If it’s less than 160 spm you are at a higher risk for lower leg injuries. You need to increase your speed by between five and ten percent to reduce stress on the hip and knee joints. An easy way to do this is to download a metronome app to your phone, and increase the beat per minute to the desired rate.

Lean Into It

You don’t want to be straight up and down when running. Staying too upright will put more demand on your quads, and increased compressive forces to the knee. Instead use a stance that mimics a plank with your upper body – and then lean forward about ten degrees. Of course, don’t lean so far forward that you cannot catch yourself if you trip.

Push Off

When you walk your body is like a pendulum – with a combination of pulling and pushing motions. This is not the case when you run because there are moments when both feet are off the ground. You need to remove, or at least minimize, the pull component. You can do this by imagining your feet are pushing you forward – like they would when you are kicking off on a skateboard or scooter.

By using the proper running form you will be less likely to suffer injuries – and more likely to make it to the finish line.




Recently I was browsing the internet when I came across two facts about blood donation. The first: Every two seconds someone in the United States needs to be given blood. That means if it takes you two minutes to read this post, 60 people will have needed or received a transfusion.

The second: Each year, 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood – but only 10 percent do so.

This is concerning. Concerning to me as a person, concerning to me as a blood donor, but most importantly, concerning to me as a person who works at a Level I Trauma Center.

When a trauma patient enters the doors of the University of Utah Hospital, blood is one of the most precious resources that our trauma team has. It saves lives. We have protocols that surround blood use in the trauma bay because we as a trauma team understand the benefits and preciousness of this resource.

ARUP, which is the organization that is responsible for the blood bank at University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, is a close member of our trauma team. Together, we have worked tirelessly to make the process of getting blood to our patients as streamlined as we can. I know I continue to say this, but we recognize that this is a precious resource that we do not want to waste. Our trauma providers don’t want to waste blood as it may mean life or death not only to the patient who has presented to the trauma bay but to the one who is coming in next.

Read the full story here.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.