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Quick Fixes to improve your Running

If you want to keep advancing as a marathoner then it is important to become an efficient runner, writes Nandini Reddy.

Runners are always looking to improve timing, speed and technique. The more efficient they become – the faster they progress as runners. In the recent times there have been several new innovative running techniques that have evolved and been adopted by runners across the world. But aside from extensive training schedule changes you can also look to improve your running efficiency sneaking in a few quick fixes.

Learn to Sprint

Sprinting can become a part of your training schedule with ease. You will need to add sprinting at maximum intensity to your training schedule at least 3 times a week. Why does this help? Essentially because sprinting pushes you to your limits of capacity and your energy is purely converted to speed. In the process your stride improves and thus boosts your running technique. Start with doing 5-10 sprints in 10-15 second bursts. This you can alter or vary according to your running level.

Train Barefoot

Most running shoes come with extra cushioning and are fixed with more technology than your laptops. But this extra compensation from the shoe means you don’t pay attention to your strides because your shoes compensates when you over-stride. While this might not be noticeable in the short run, you will notice that you are tiring out faster in the long run. Getting the right stride length is crucial to becoming a more efficient runner. It also reduces the risk of injury and conserves your energy. If you find barefoot too uncomfortable then opt for shoes that have less cushioning so that you can run comfortably in the right stride length.

Get Flexible

Our jobs today do not let us move around much. Most of us are sitting 90% of the time at office. This can stiffen your hip flexors and that can ruin your running efficiency. When the hip flexors are tight, it makes it hard to push off and your stride get affected and you will also consequently use more energy to generate the same thrust. So remember to stretch and work out your hips so that there is improved flexibility.

Squat it

Squats can strengthen muscle groups that are important for running. Work in at least 3 days of strength training and ensure you do squats. Strengthening the muscles means that you can run faster and remain injury free. Watch your squatting technique so that you can get the maximum effect.

Lean it

Leaning slightly forward can make a world of difference. The slight forward lean is a technique that skiers use to engage their whole body. This allows for better form and makes running slightly less tiresome. This also prevents you from sinking into your hips. The idea is the maintain a straight back and then following the skier slight forward lean is a good running form.

Simple changes can help you run faster and longer and make your runs more enjoyable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Training Comments (1) |

Runners need Strong Arms

A strong upper body is as important as a powerful pair of legs for runners, says Nandini Reddy

When you think of running you do not worry about the strength of your upper body. You are more focused on your legs, knees, ankles and hips. Very rarely do you hear runners talking about their arms and shoulder strength. But in reality can you imagine running without using your arms? Have you tried running by sticking you arms to your sides and not moving them at all? It would be weird and uncomfortable. It is also a highly inefficient way to run. So if your arms are so important then shouldn’t you be taking care of them.

Deadlift for your upper body

Building a super strong upper body has to be a crucial part of your training as a runner. Have you noticed that when you legs get tired you tend to pump you arms more to finish that critical last mile. So its important that you develop you lateral muscles, pecs, shoulder and arms. You can include deadlift, push-ups, overhead presses and lateral rows in your weekly training sessions to strengthen your upper body. Remember that endurance runs tend to put pressure on your muscles and having strong muscles can help you immensely.

Improve your posture

An upright posture give you good running form. A stable and upright posture will improve your running performance as it has a direct positive impact on your endurance. Shoulders and lateral muscles play a big role in ensuring good posture.

Up your lung capacity

As you work your muscles better your lung capacity increases. Also during a hard run a strong upper body will not need as much oxygen to hold a good running form. When you have a stronger upper body your oxygen requirement reduces and that means you can run with more energy and possibly faster.

Improve Endurance

Building muscle endurance is the key to becoming a better runner. Getting the right stride length and number of strides is important. Often when runners are not strong on their upper body their form starts to flag mid run causing stress injuries and more pressure on the body to complete the run.

Strength training your upper body is as important and ensuring that you legs are in good running form. Don’t ignore it because it can be the one thing that determines how you progress as a runner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

Read more