Run better with these easy tips. I like running. I like feeling my muscles working, I like focusing on my stride, I like trying to slow down my breathing, I even like pushing myself to go that little bit further or faster. All of this with a trusty playlist that helps me put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, however, when I’m having an off day, running is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Everything hurts and I can’t breathe and I feel like I’m going to drop dead mid stride.
RUN BETTER WITH THESE EASY TIPS
Strength training. There’s no way you’ll be able to keep up with a longer run if your muscles are weak. You can strength train at the gym, but another option is to practice running hills (and maybe add some squats for good measure). Find the 6 Best Exercises For Runners here.
Play with your stride. A shorter stride is more efficient than a long one so when you speed up, aim to decrease the length of your steps. Another thing I like to do is to really focus on my muscles, especially those of my feet. Am I hitting with my heel or more on my forefoot (this might be dependent on your shoe type as well)? Am I rolling through to my toes and pushing off? If you can, jump on a treadmill that’s in front of a mirror (or have someone watch you). Pay close attention to your legs. After years of running I found out that my left leg moves a little more slowly than my right one. What this was doing is putting more pressure on my right side and causing it to work harder. Over the long term I could have developed injuries on my left side.
Relax. When you are tense and your head starts to jut forward, you start to round forward. Not only is this bad running form, it also wastes a lot of energy. Try to keep your shoulders down and relaxed and don’t over-bend your arms.
Breathe. Learn how to slow down your breathing. I like to inhale for two counts and then exhale for two counts, but you can play with this. The trick is to maintain an even breath so that you aren’t huffing and puffing.
Nourish your body. Make sure that you are eating properly by fueling your body before and after a run. If you are running on empty you’ll find yourself getting light headed and your legs will feel like they weigh a ton. Aim to have a small protein rich snack 30-40 minutes before you head out. The same goes for post run nutrition.
Stretch and warm up. We all know that awful feeling when it’s cold and you suddenly need to break into a run to catch your bus and it feels like all your bones are going to break and inevitably you pull a muscle. Well, to keep that from happening, make sure that you spend at least 5 minutes warming up (10 if it’s cold outside) and then about 10-15 minutes stretching afterward. Keep those muscles long and limber.
Don’t force it. The key to a good run is to start slow. Take the time to warm up your muscles by walking for the first few minutes. As your body gets used to the movement, gradually up the pace.
Choose your clothing wisely. If your shoes are uncomfortable and you find yourself tugging on your shirt or adjusting your top you can pretty much kiss that great run goodbye. Blisters and chaffing are surefire ways to completely turn you off of ever attempting another run. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on the best, most high end clothing but take a moment to make sure that your clothing fits and doesn’t rub you in an uncomfortable way. Shoes (and comfortable moisture wicking socks – I like the padded ones) are probably the most important component. So if you are going to get serious about running, make sure you spend some time exploring this investment. For more on how to choose the best running shoes read this.
Running really shouldn’t be an activity to dread and there’s no reason you shouldn’t do it if you want to. Start slow and don’t get overwhelmed and before you know it, you’ll be running with the rest of them. If you are just starting out and you are are looking for a little help then download the beginner’s running guide now!
What are your tips on making running easier?
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