There are a few easy things that everyone can apply to their running to decrease injury, pain and simply make running easier and faster! I have worked on a lot of my patients running technique lately and having great results with less injuries and faster times.
So here is your easy guide on to how to run properly and improve your run!
1: Cadence: This is basically the number of steps that you take per minute and for best efficiency this should be 90 steps per minute on each foot (180 total per minute). To achieve this, first of all you need to measure what your current cadence is. You can do this by counting the amount of steps your right foot takes in one minute. Most likely it will be around 80.
Try then increasing your rate (if needed) and time again in another 5 minutes. The trick is to think like you are running on an icy or slippery surface and your heels are coming up behind you. This could well feel awkward to do at first and can take weeks to get used to, but once you get use to it, running will feel much easier.
2: Don’t stride out: When striding out the foot lands on the heel and with the leg relatively straight out. This creates a braking force up through the leg and acts to slow you down, meaning YOU have to work harder. So if you want to increase the speed, increase the cadence and make sure your foot is landing below your knee – this means you will be landing more on your magnificently designed shock absorbing mid foot and not your heels.
Take a look at this picture below: their front leg is in the perfect position – foot below the knee, meaning their momentum is going to be maintained, meaning you can go and go and go!
3: Think smooth, light and easy: If you look at the best medium to long distance runners you will see they have very little upward head movement (less bobbing up and down). This means less wasted energy! So to do this we need to lean our body weight forward more and imagine projecting yourself forward and slightly up. Practice standing 1 meter in front of a wall and leaning forward through bending at your ankles until you are about to fall forward and then come back again in order to get a feeling of shifting your body weight forward.
Remember – Perseverance is key with this! You will feel like you can just keep running and running when this becomes second nature – and then you tell others how to run properly – I still find it amazing that no one gets taught how to run!
Keep an eye out – If you like this post then make sure to subscribe as I will be posting on barefoot running information and must do exercises for runners in the future.