And while it is a gloriously simple workout for me, there is more to it than putting one foot in front of the other. However making it simple for you can simply be in the little things.
Here are 5 easy tips and tricks to help you enjoy your run, make you better, more efficient and possible faster.
1- Running around the Clock: I am not a stickler for coaching stride. I believe in the body’s own kinetic chain to create your personal run form. However this simple think trick of running around the clock will give you a faster turnover in stride. When you run, think of a clock and when bring your foot up you’re at the 12… reach out to 3 as you lengthen the leg… strike the ground beneath your body at 6, then pushing off the 9 behind you to propel forward. This quick turnover will in turn make you a faster runner
2- Loosen your grip: Do you ever feel tight around the neck and shoulder when your done running? Runners tend to hold tension in their upper body and shoulders, which can make a regular run feel twice as hard. Try this trick to test yourself. Roll up a sheet of paper and run with it like a track baton. If it comes back crinkled, your squeezing too hard. Allowing your hands to loosen up then relaxes your shoulders making for less wasted energy. This trick can also be done with a potato chip. Be sure not to crush your chip between your thumb and forefinger.
3- Slow down your breathing: It may sound counterintuitive… but chances are you’re breathing too much. When we are tired we will try and bring in oxygen quickly using short breaths. By doing so you’re not getting rid of all the CO2 in you lungs, essentially starving them of oxygen they need. Slow down your breathing, relax a little and you might find your run will get easier.
4- Empty your mind: Have you ever noticed when your running and it tends to get difficult you start thinking about why it’s so hard and you will force modifications to your stride and form actually making you less efficient. Thinking about your movements increases brain activity. Research shows that skilled athletes, in all sports actually, have the least brain activity… basically because they are performing on autopilot. Emptying your mind will help you to evolve the stride most economical for your body, meaning your personal form. Remember that kinetic change from tip number one? Don’t think, let your body do what it does best and you just run.
5- Last but not least Finish Fast: As we get tired in our run or when something is aching or pinching we tend to slow down to solve the problem. Instead run faster!! Research shows when we push our limits we will find more efficient ways to move. So pick up the pace. End some of your easy runs with a fast finish. Turnover your legs a tad quicker, relax your shoulders, lift your chest and run proud increasing your speed as you go.
So if you’ve hit the wall in your training… try these simple tips to get you back on track and enjoying your run again.