Making changes in your body is surely a tough task and it could not happen over time if you are not focused on improving. Likewise, if you really want to make substantial changes in your running technique, it would need you to have a complete insight on what is a proper running technique and how you can gain a proper form as you move on the running track? It is true that you can change your running technique forever with right efforts of practicing regularly. Many of the runners especially beginners lack the knowledge of a proper running technique and thus face declined performance or suffer from various pains. In order to improve your efficiency as you run, you need to work on variables affecting your running form.
Improve Your Running Technique:
Here are certain tips that a runner at any level should follow in order to gain effective running technique that would lead him to success.
- Flexibility: Flexibility is the prime need for a good runner’s body. Your muscles and joints should be flexible so that they don’t restrict your body from running at a good speed and for longer distances. Lack of flexibility or limited range of motion could affect your running performance and running for you at an older age would become even more difficult. Using your muscles is the key. The more you use your muscles, more flexibility they will gain. Otherwise you would find them to become stiff with your inactiveness. So you have to work for your body to be flexible and it could be done with light stretching and movement throughout the day.
- Make your body Stronger: Muscle imbalances are common with runners and these imbalances put a lot of stress on your body when you try to run efficiently. In order to avoid that to happen, you should strength train your muscles so that they become stronger. Your focus here should be on imbalances and instability of running that is usually because of weak muscles. Avoid prolonged sitting. Even when you are at work where you need to be on your seat for hours, take short breaks with a short walk in order to strengthen your hip muscles. Muscle imbalances can cause you injuries such as Iliotibial band syndrome so opt for exercises for improved stability such as planks, lunges, pushups, squats, clams etc.
- Improved Posture: A proper running technique can be adopted if you are carry a proper posture while running. Both of these factors are interlinked. A proper posture of running would include running with your spine straight. However you must not exert pressure on your body to keep spine completely straight but it should be reasonably straight. Poor posture would include too much of bending or too much of straight and it would not only reduce efficiency of running but would also restrict circulation of blood and oxygen to various parts and muscles of your body.
- Improve your Stride/Cadence: You should be aware of your cadence which is actually the number of strides you are taking per minute as you run. Longer the stride, less amount of time your feet will spend on ground and thus less amount of energy will be exerted. It means that your legs would be able to support your body with running for a longer duration. A reasonable cadence would be around 90 strides each minute and you should try to maintain this figure in order to have a balanced stride. Working on improving your stride rate would result in a drastic improvement in your running technique. Thus increase your stride rate to have reduced time for your feet on ground.
- Physical and Mental Focus: Running can be improved and you will be facing less wear and tear with your body if you have good mental and physical focus. This means that you need to educate your mind and body that you need to run faster, longer yet with no injuries. Doing so would help your body and mind to adjust your running form so that this goal can be achieved. Listen to your body and mind. If you find something inappropriate or pains or find the need to stop; you should listen to your body and stop.
- Better Breathing: Proper breathing at all times during the run is important. With an improper breathing, you will only be stressing your lungs. Proper breathing would enable proper circulation of oxygen to various parts of your body which is extremely important if you want to run at your best.
- Work for Body Co-ordination: Your upper and lower body co-ordination is important for proper running form. Both of these divisions of your body should be working in equal amounts so that you can run well with your whole body stressed at the same level. Do not overload one section of your body and spread out the responsibility to all the muscles to work in unity for successful running results.
- Keep your Body Relaxed: While running observe things going around you and when you get a chance to smile and laugh do so. It helps your body in reducing stress and would reduce the chances of straining muscles. An efficient runner is one who is relaxed while he is covering distance. A relaxed body thus uses its fuel energy for running only resulting in improved performance. Also begin running in a relaxed manner. It would be better if you begin with a pre-run warm-up and slowly drift your body in to running activity.
Running is an activity that is not supposed to be hard on your body and cause pains. A good running form would enable you to run marathons without your body getting hurt. Help your body for a proper form with muscle balance, stability, relaxed body and mind, improved breathing and all the other tips that we have shared here. These techniques would make your run a lot easier.