how to run properly: the abcs of running

Learning the ABCs of running is just like a child learning to write their ABCs. Think back to awkwardly holding the pencil. Remember shaping, perfecting and repeating each letter until it looked just right before writing entire words? Well, this practice-makes-perfect principle also applies in the running world.

what are the abcs of running?

The ABCs of running are exercises designed to break down the running stride into specific parts. When you practice these drills individually you develop strength and muscle memory that will improve your overall running form. With improved form you will become more efficient, every step will take less energy, and you’ll ultimately become faster as you fatigue later into the run!


The As work on knee drive:

running apparel from lululemon

- bend your leg to 90 degrees, flex your foot and quickly bring it down
- remain upright through the torso and keep your hips level
- swing your arms at roughly 90 degrees and keep them close to your body
- the opposite arm and leg should be forward
- repeat on other side and progress by adding a hop between each A


Bs work on leg extension:

running shorts from lululemon

- bend your leg to 90 degrees as in the A drill, extend your leg and quickly bring it through
- Practice good control by keeping your hips level and torso upright
- swing your arms at roughly 90 degrees and keep them close to your body
- the opposite arm and leg should be forward
- repeat on the other side and progress by adding a hop between each B


The Cs work on pull through:

running clothes from lululemon

- kick the heel up towards the bum and quickly bring it down
- lean forward slightly and stay upright through the torso
- swing your arms at roughly 90 degrees and keep them close to your body
- try to limit the time your foot is in contact with the ground

Practicing your ABCs is not glamorous and there is no catchy song to help you along the way, but these exercises are the building blocks of running. Complete three sets of ABCs for about 30 metres as part of every warm-up to become a more efficient runner!

My favourite running outfit:

read more related posts:


yeah that is cool

Comment by olivia — October 9, 2010 @ 9:32 am

Her leg muscles are amazing and totally inspiring! The fact that she is wearing Lululemon is too, of course. :)

Comment by Rachel — October 11, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

I just happened to find this spot. I am really excited about it. I have been walking and jogging for about 3 yrs. Before that just walking. I recently started a focused strength training class. My knee has been bothering me for about 2 wks. over the weekend I could not finish a 5K because of it. Went to doc yesterday and its the ligaments that are aggravated and am on inflammatory meds. and rest for a couple of weeks. Can started walking in 4-5 days. Am I doing something to cause this? Hopefully trying some of the steps above will help my technique.

Comment by Kellie Carter — October 12, 2010 @ 7:39 am

Hey Rebecca,
i am an educator in kingston, you make me want to start a run program. i have always played team sports, but with 3 kids i need to find exercise i can fit into my schedule. you have inpsored me to look into run programs and get excited!! krissy:))

Comment by krissy doran — October 12, 2010 @ 11:12 am

What are the lulu jacket and pants worn in the fall running pictures on the homepage?

Comment by Brittany — October 12, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

I think the most important part of running form is how your feet hit the ground.

It would be great to see Lululemon supporting/promoting barefoot/minimal running. I think this would be well aligned to your ethos.

I’m not criticizing these exercise suggestions – they look good!


Comment by John — October 13, 2010 @ 6:19 am


hi I live in kingston and I would like to know if these are the only exercise we can do before doing our running. I do cross-country.So please write it or posteit on youre website or write me or send me a e-mail.

Comment by Alisha — October 13, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

Hi Alisha!
These exercises breakdown running into separate parts, making it easier to perfect your stride. They are great exercises to do before your run, but they’re certainly not the only ones that will warm you up! Since you run cross-country, ask your coach about some other ways to warm up your body before hitting the trails.

GEC Online
lululemon athletica

Comment by GEC Online Community — October 14, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

I’m having a hard time visualizing these moves very well based on the written description. Maybe more pictures would help to outline the steps of each move.

Brittany- the jacket is the Run:Inspire jacket in senorita pink. I have it in black. There are so many crops out, I can’t keep track of which ones the runner is wearing.

Comment by Amanda — October 15, 2010 @ 8:21 am

Hi Amanda,

A few months ago I made a short video on each drill and posted them to the lululemon robson street facebook page. Please feel free to check out the video examples because they will help with visualization :)

Comment by Rebecca — October 15, 2010 @ 11:55 am

Hi Amanda,

Please feel free to check out the video examples on the lululemon robson street facebook page. They will help with visualization!

Comment by Rebecca — October 15, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

Hey Britney,
The runner on our homepage is wearing the Run: Inspire Pullover in Senorita Pink and the Run: Inspire Crops in Black


Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — October 16, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

Thank you so much for posting videos, that helps a lot!!

Comment by Amanda — October 21, 2010 @ 11:03 am

I was scrolling down to suggest that maybe a video would be helpful, as I too am having some trouble translating from the description into completing the physical motions, when I saw that Amanda had asked exactly what I was going to ask– thanks Amanda, and thanks Rebecca for your answer, the videos are so helpful!! I love this blog post! As an ex-gymnast, I remember many years of using the same exercises to perfect technique in gymnastics routines. Doing this sort of exercises may not seem intuitive, but it really does work!

Comment by Jenn — October 27, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

What are the name of the crop pants pictured?

Comment by Jacklie — November 7, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

Hi Jacklie,

The shorts in these photos are the Run: Speed Shorts. Was there a pair of crops that you saw elsewhere that you were wondering about? Feel free to call us at 1.877.263.9300, option 2, if you have any questions, or if you’d like us to help you track down an item.

Comment by Morgan- GEC Online Community — November 18, 2010 @ 11:12 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment