The act of running is easy, but running correctly can be quite a challenge without proper training. If you’re in the beginning stages of running, or an avid runner, there are always tips from experts in the industry to help up your game. Speed, mobility, and control are all huge factors that contribute to how you run. While there are hundreds of fantastic tips out there, here are 10 that you can focus on for your next run.
1. Breathing Control
If you’re breathing hard while running, you’ve probably noticed that it gets harder and harder as you go along. That’s because when we breathe rapidly, the surplus of oxygen moving into the lungs makes it more difficult for the CO2 to escape. Thus, we’re allowing a CO2 build-up to occur. In controlled breathing, you’ll find your groove much more easily, giving you the ability to run longer.
2. Chest Forward
When you run, you may find yourself hunched over, which is a bodily position to avoid. This will put stress on your neck and even make it harder to breathe. Instead, push your chest out. This shift in position makes you naturally roll your shoulders back.
3. Loosen Up
Stop clenching your fists! The more tension you hold in your arms, the more will translate to your shoulders. We want the least amount of tension produced in order to run longer and more successfully. Allow your hands to relax, but not flail about. Put them in loose fists.
4. Thumb Over Fist
With the above tip, ensure your thumb is positioned over your fist. Running with your thumbs up will tense your forearms, and remember, we want everything loosened up.
As with all physical activity, proper rest is the key to muscle healing and growth. Without the right amount of sleep, recovery is deterred and, in time, could lead to a running injury. Improve your performance by getting enough Zs at night. This will reduce inflammation from your runs and speed up the healing of those aching hamstring.
6. Improve Proprioception
You may not give your feet the attention they deserve every day. However, we have a solution that will have your feet feeling ready to go for every run. Grab a tennis, lacrosse, or golf ball to roll from your heel to ball. This movement for 30 seconds every morning and night will help massage the tissues in your foot and improve proprioception (perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body).
7. Lace Patterns
Lacing is everything. There are many different ways to lace your shoes to offer comfort to various areas of the foot. You’ll notice if your new running shoes have your feet hurting in certain areas. Figure out the ideal lace pattern for your shoes and you will notice a difference in pressure against the foot.
8. More Sprints
Are you hoping to become faster? Give sprints a try. Whichever method you’re using—track, outdoor, or treadmill—run full speed for 20 seconds, then stop completely for 10. Repeat this pattern up until a minute for one set. A few sets of these a week can greatly enhance your agility.
9. Stop Pre-Run Stretching
No more! Stretching your muscles before they’ve had a chance to warm up is a recipe for injury. Even in bodybuilding, cold stretching is not encouraged. Instead, walk quickly for two minutes, then break into a slow jog. Once you’ve warmed up, then you’ll be ready to train. Save the stretching for post-run.
10. Foam Rolling is Your Friend
Invest in a quality roller and reap the benefits for a very long time. Rolling stretches out the myofascial tissues, which is how you’ll help your legs recover more rapidly. When rolling, take time to do your calves, IT bands, hips, glutes, and hamstrings. It may seem tedious but working out the kinks in these muscles will pay off in a big way.