Running doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and even to those it does, there are still things you can do to improve your performance. Here are some quick tips:
A relaxed runner is an efficient runner. If you tense up, you’ll end up with bad form and bad utilisation of energy. The tension mainly happens in the upper body, so check you’re not scrunching your hands into fists, that you’re swinging you arms front / back and not crossing them over and also drop the shoulders so they’re not near your ears. Don’t just check these things at the start of your run. Sometimes we tense up the longer we’re out so make sure you check every mile or so. Make sure you’re not slouched or hunched over in any way. Although you do
Warm up slowly
You decide you’re off for a run and you’re all pumped up and eager to get out there. This tends to mean that you start off quite quickly. But this won’t help you further into your run, when you suddenly realise that this pace isn’t sustainable and that you’re knackered already. So, start off slow and save your energy. It will allow you to have a much more consistent run and hopefully a stronger finish.
Don’t be too eager to up your distances. You need to do it gradually and a good rule of thumb is to not go above a 10-15 % increase in distance each week. Doing too much too soon has been proven to give you added emotional and physical stress. Don’t forget too that, if you’re training for a race, that you don’t need to actually run the final distance prior to the event and make sure you wind down the week before. Keep running, but just don’t do your longest runs.
Vary your training
Just like overtraining can be detrimental, so can unvaried runs. Try and incorporate some interval training or some hill runs. This will challenge the muscles and your cardio ability in different ways. You’ll find by varying speed that you’ll increase your overall pace. Want to improve on your PB? Intermingle a run with some fast bursts (80-100m distance at 90% effort) to activate those fast-twitch muscle fibres needed to run quicker. Also add in some resistance training so it's not just all cardio.
Tweak your Technique
It can take a while to get into the right running style. Think about running tall and with a slight lean forward - your whole body not just from the hips. Aim for a mid foot strike rather than landing on your heels to prevent injury
Have the correct running shoes
Don’t just buy any old trainer. There are trainers specifically for running and they do them for different gaits. Check yours out before buying any. As well as getting the right trainers you also need to think about changing them. Your trainer cushioning softens over time, so after you’ve done around 400 miles is around the time you need to change them. This will improve your efficiency and will decrease your chance of injury. Don’t rely on how they look visually. Keep a track of how often you go out in them.
Refuel post run
Getting the right nutrition is essential after all exercise and not just running. Make sure you have something within the 45 mins after your run/workout. This is when the body takes in the most nutrients, so get the carbs and protein in to ensure optimal muscle repair and development.
Wear the right clothes
Don’t wrap up too warm as you’ll feel uncomfortable once your body temperature raises further into your run. You want to have clothes where you feel a little cool when you first step outside.
Not done any running before but thinking about taking it up? Not sure where to start? Come and speak to me. I can put a programme together to get you off the starting blocks.
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