Health & Fitness
Five Tips That’ll Make You a Better Runner
Running, the most basic and easy to pull off the exercise of all. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as getting a good run in, feeling the wind on your face as you speed off and feel like nothing can stop you. It even acts as a great (and the most recommended) cardio work out, and if you do it right, it can train not just your legs but your whole body. The emphasis here is on doing it right, and believe it or not; we could use some help when it comes to the way we run most of the time.
Everyone has their way or style of running (there are more than you’d think) but there’s always some basic tips that, regardless of how you prefer to run, will make for more benefits if you’re trying to get a good work out. Try out these tips, and you won’t be far off from some of the best runners in the world.
Take Deep Breaths
The first step to improving running is improving breathing. Most people either don’t know or don’t bother to remember this but breathing is a crucial part of any exercise. It isn’t just taking air in and letting it out either; you have to breathe it in all the way to your lungs and diaphragm.
Why go this far? Well, remember that oxygen is what keeps your body working if you’re not getting enough oxygen and letting your body absorb it properly then all you’re doing is tiring its resources (and yourself) out. In fact, incorrect breathing can tire you out faster and even hurt your performance.
There are some downsides to the right method. While the air makes its way in you’ll feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen and that might get you think that it’s not working, but as your body gets used to it, it’ll also get easier, as opposed to just breathing in short bursts of air and tiring out faster.
Balance Forward Posture
The next big step to improving your running is your posture. The way we run influences the amount of energy and force our body exerts with each step and that, as you can guess, translates into how much exercise we can gain from it as well as how fast we can run and how quickly we tire out.
When you start running lean forward on your ankle as you land, this allows your body to stay in line but also lets most of your weight fall on your ankle and then spread out as your foot lands, taking away a lot of the burden.
Granted, we don’t want you to injure your ankles, so to stop it from taking too much damage you should line your back up straight and push your shoulders back, this both open up your lungs and allows your body weight to disperse easier when you land.
Control Your Arms
Oh yes, the arms. Arms essentially become useless when we’re running, causing us to wonder just what we should do with them as we move. But arms do have a significant role in supporting our legs and the rest of our bodies, for one they allow us to keep our posture as our body instinctively leans towards where our arms are.
Because of this, it is advised that your arms should never, ever, cross each other when you’re running. Make sure to keep them raise straight at your side, separate from your body to not add extra pressure on them and move them parallel to your legs, so if you put down your right leg you raise your left arm and move your right back, so on, so forth.
This method of doing things gives you a pendulum-like movement and allows you to keep your balance going much easier, but remember, move your arms accordingly with your legs, if you start moving them too fast or slow it can throw off your pace.
Yes, we’re talking specifically about running in this article, but remember that running trains your whole body and relies on every single part of it to work efficiently. You won’t get much work done if it’s imbalanced and that can happen a lot if you don’t exercise regularly when off the track.
So aside from just jogging or walking every day, you should also do exercises that strengthen and increase your capacity, whether it’d be the classic planks or squats. These practices are not just good for your legs but also help train and keep your core in check, which is crucial for improving and becoming a better runner.
Remember that these are still cardio exercises, so doing something like lifting weights won’t work for what they’re trying to accomplish, those mainly focus on strengthening a particular muscle, not your whole body.
Take a Break
At the end of the day our bodies are well-oiled machines, and like any tool, it requires some rest. If you run too much or work too hard, then you can start to strain your legs or tire out your body so much that it becomes hard to keep up. So don’t be afraid to slow down when you’re running or go into a slow walk.
Break days are also important, and while running is something you should keep track of and make a habit out of, taking one or two days to let your body help will be just as worthwhile.
Now that you know all of that don’t be afraid to get up and run around a bit, try to get used to these new methods so that your body can adapt appropriately. It might take a while for it, but with time you’ll be running more than you ever thought you would.