Host: Dr. Matt Minard

Episode Summary

Dr. Matt Minard, the owner of Learn 2 Run, is a Physical Therapist who enjoys both the physical and mental benefits of running. He is passionate about helping others run safely.

In this episode, Dr. Minard explains strategies to increase running pace. He puts an emphasis on improving movement techniques to maximize the use of energy in forward motion.

3 Reasons You Are Running Slow

Top Takeaways

  • “You can instantly be faster by not wasting energy”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]
  • “If you are not leaning forward, it’s slowing you down”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]
  • “If your arms aren’t moving, that’s slowing you down”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]
  • “If you’re jumping, it is slowing down your speed”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]
  • “Running is about going forward; not up, not side to side”
    – [Dr. Matt Minard]

Episode Highlights

  • [01:31] Today’s topic is centered on how to run faster; the mechanics of movement.
  • [02:59] 3 movement strategies that slow down your speed.
  • [14:00] What you can do to run faster; listen and learn.
  • [15:05] Working on the arm swing to run faster.
  • [16:56] Increasing speed by reducing jumping
  • [19:55] Dr. Minard’s programs for runners, non-runners, and physical therapists.

Episode Notes

What causes you to run slow?

There are 3 running methods that slow down your running pace:

  1. not leaning forward
  2. not swinging your arms
  3. jumping while running.

We will be focused on running techniques and mechanics of movement.

Not leaning forward

Runners who want to get faster must learn to lean forward. This is easily seen in other activities like moving a couch, skating, or hugging.

The idea is to have your body weight move in the same direction that you are moving. If you want to move forward, lean forward. Leaning forward was discussed more in detail in episode 2 (Learn to run more efficiently using gravity) and episode 5 (Overstriding is slowing down your runs and hurting you).

Not swinging your arms


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When you are not swinging your arms while moving forward, you are being slowed down. Your arms are working against you. Part of the function of your arms is to assist your legs while running. Not moving your arms means the legs have to do more work.

Jumping while running

Jumping is probably the reason you are running slow. You don’t have to look far to see why. Improper form is being marketed to new runners. This error is easily seen in marketing posters for running gear where the runner is up in the air in a supposed running action shot. The pose is strictly for marketing running gear and not to teach how to run.

Jumping while running means you are misusing your energy to jump. The energy would be better diverted to increasing your horizontal speed.

How to run faster by fixing these common running mistakes

To run faster, work on one thing at a time. This is going to be key to your success.

Learn to lean forward

Start with a simple 20-minute run while listening to episode 2 of this podcast, and learn to lean forward. You will learn how to maximize the use of gravity to run not only faster but more efficiently by utilizing “frenergy.”

Swing your arms


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Now focus on your arm swing. Imagine lightly gripping a handsaw and sawing forward and back. This movement should be a handsaw movement or the motion of using a towel to dry off your lower back, not an axe-like vertical movement.

Stop bounding


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Bounding, or jumping while running is not only slowing you down, but it is causing a greater impact on your body which can result in injury. To fix this, imagine running in a room that has a low ceiling and trying not to bonk your head. Your movement remains mostly horizontal with little to no jumping at all.

For more guidance, Dr. Minard has created a video on the “Tennis Ball Necklace Experience” where a tennis ball with a shoestring is hung around the neck as a jump detector. The goal is to run while minimizing the movement of that ball which will smack you in the belly if you jump. For a more visual description of some of these techniques, visit Dr. Minard’s YouTube and Instagram pages.

Runners can join the Learn to Run Club, a monthly membership program where Dr. Minard’s teaches beginners, intermediate and advanced levels of runners to run smarter safer, and faster. In this program, members can also send a running video and go through it with Dr. Minard. For non-runners who want to start running, the “Desk to 5k” one-time payment program has been created solely to suit their needs. The first 2 weeks of the program would involve walking, moving the joints, and activating the muscles following which there is a transition to both running and walking, systematically increasing the distance till it gets 5k. Runners can then strive to cover longer distances afterward.

Physical Therapists who want to gain expertise in running mechanics can now do so through Dr. Minard’s second course which will be published on the 2nd of August. The course will have 3 parts including some that will be taught in person by Dr. Minard. The next episode, “Need for Speed” will concentrate on how to train to get faster.

To vote on the next topic that will be discussed follow Dr. Minard on Instagram. For professional help with running smarter, safer, and faster, check Dr. Minard’s running memberships.


Find | Dr. Matt Minard’s LEARN 2 RUN