Training Comments Off on Improve your running gait |

Improve your running gait

If you are serious about running, and running injury-free, you should get a gait analysis, preferably from a professional trainer, writes Radhika Meganathan.

“Gait is the movement created when you move your legs and arms to run. So a gait analysis tells you what your running style is and how you can improve it for the better,” says Karthik FC, coach at The Unit strength training studio in Chennai. “No matter what your fitness level or running level is, you can change your gait to suit your goals.”
Every runner has a unique style and if yours reveal to be less than ideal, no sweat, you can easily remedy that. While revising your gait, here are some things to check for:

1. Posture: Run tall and lean slightly forward to get the right incline on your back. Old habits die hard and if you tend to

slouch, this may be hard at first, but trust us, it gets better. “As you run longer and frequently, your body will learn the right posture by practice. In fact, if you are a keen learner, it only takes a month to correct your gait,” says Karthik.

2. Core: A lot of runners underestimate the importance of breathing and core strength, so make sure you breathe the right way (your tummy should go in when you breathe out) and get your abs workout without fail. Another tip is to learn how to use your glutes to land on the ground, instead of relying on footwork alone. Strength training will help you with this.

3. Feet: Stride length and foot strike are the words you will be using a lot, when you concentrate on how your foot hits the ground when you run. Heel strike puts pressure on your knees, so your goal must be midfoot strike. As much as possible, keep your stride length short, rather than long. Train your feet to land underneath you and not in front. The closer your foot remains to your body, lesser are the chances of injuries.

4. Rhythm: Optimum and smooth cadence are the holy grail that every serious runner aspires for. Once your posture and feet strike are in sync, your rhythm will fall into place. If you are interested in biomechanical techniques to enhance your gait, ChiRunning, Evolution Running, and Stride Mechanics are some of the latest models advocated by running gurus in the world, and if you want to explore some of these techniques, you can look it up online and have a chat with your trainer (or contact these organisations directly).

5. Equipment: Yes, we are talking about shoes! Perhaps the best way to ensure mid foot strike is to pick a shoe that supports that strike. “Ideally, you should change your shoes for every 1000 kilometer you run. I know it’s tough to track the distance you run, but if you are a serious runner, you cannot use the same shoes for years, because doing so will leave damage inside your soles and will impact your gait” says Karthik. “A6 and New Balance are some shoes that are very gait-friendly. “

If you are an aspiring or new runner, it may be easier to learn a good gait at the beginning itself. That said, if you are an experienced runner, then in no time will you be able to enhance your running cadence and posture. But still, it’s worth to remember that as one ages, the body undergoes inevitable physical changes and this often means that your gait and form also gets affected. So do not be annoyed or apprehensive about constant updating requirements.

Just keep a positive outlook, look out for any changes in your body and train accordingly!



Radhika Meganathan is a published author who is an advocate for healthy living, she practices sugar-free intermittent fasting, all-terrain rambling and weight training.

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Nutrition Comments Off on Food for Muscles |

Food for Muscles

Strength training and lifting weights is a great way to build muscle strength, but your diet plays a bigger role says Nandini Reddy

Strength training is an essential part of a good runner’s training schedule. Taking care of your muscles means more than just using weights to build muscle. The one factor that needs attention is your diet. Your diet can play the most critical role in ensuring your muscles are healthy and in a state to support your strenuous running schedules. All foods are not equal so its important to pick the right ones to give your muscles the energy boost they need. There are essential rules to remember while choosing food to build muscle.

The Right Amount of Protein

Protein has the essential nutrients that are required to build muscles and also repair them when they are damaged during training. But you also need to understand that protein needs to be eaten in the right quantity. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, consuming 1.6 gms of protein per kilogram of body weight is ideal for building muscle. Lean meats like eggs, fish and white meat are a great way to add muscle. Supplemental protein shakes break down quickly in your body so they are a great after workout booster.

When do you eat Protein?

Muscles break down whenever you run. Right after a workout your body is better equipped to absorb the nutrition from protein. That doesn’t mean you have to consume something immediately after you workout. You have a 2 hour window within which you can have a meal that will help recover the muscles that have been damaged during the run or workout. While post-workout may be an ideal time to replenish your muscle building proteins, pre-workout meals also have a great impact. Eating a protein rich meal a couple of hours before going in for your workout is also very beneficial. But you need to remember that there is a limit on how much you consume. Eating too much protein in one sitting might only create problems rather than give you a bulky frame. Plan out the protein consumption in advance and spread it out through the day.

Its not all meat

Fueling muscle growth and repair doesn’t mean you have to only indulge in eating meat. There are several vegetables that also help and should be included in your diet. Beetroot, oranges, cantaloupe, panneer, spinach, apples, yogurt and milk are great protein additives to your diet. They give you added nutrients and fuel for muscles to repair better.

No Junk Allowed

Junk is the worst kind of food that one can consume. The extra calories in junk will only make you gain weight. They will not help in muscle development. The goal should always be to eat healthy food. If you need to increase calories to make up for the energy requirements from running, don’t add junk. Eat healthy food otherwise muscle growth will not be adequate and might even be retarded because of lack to the correct nutrition.

Fuel for your runs

Carbohydrates are the most important fuel for your runs. Protein cannot provide adequate energy to keep you going the whole day but carbs can. So along with your protein it is important to give your body the right mix of carbohydrates and fats to prevent deficiencies. Sweet potatoes, brown rice and pumpkins are good carbs to eat along with protein. The carbs get stored as glycogen and will fuel the muscles as they work to help you reach the finish line.

Ensure your calorie intake equals your expenditure. If you lead an active lifestyle then your calorie intake will be higher. If you run and workout daily then you need to fuel these as well. So remember that it is important you give you body adequate protein to build muscles and carbs to fuel those muscles as they work.



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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