- July 10 – Free Topic!
- July 17 – Do You Run On Vacation?
How To Run
I’ll tell you what – when I saw that this week is a “free topic”… “free running” came to mind… as did this:
Girl, I know you know what I am talking about! I laugh every single time… because seriously, how can you not?
It also reminds me of this meme:
But let’s get real for a second. Proper running form and technique is actually super important, and something I didn’t really pay too much attention to until recently.
I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks over the years that have stuck with me:
- Move your feet like you’re running up a flight of stairs even when you arent – I have no idea why I was told this, but I do it. When I do it, I can tell a difference!
- Lock your cage – this was something I picked up using the Train Like a Mother Plan last year for Dopey, and it’s simple. All you need to really do is push your shoulder blades together and ta-daa! Cage is locked.
- Three breaths in, two breaths out – I picked up this tidbit right before my first 10K. I still do it, too. I love that it gives me something to focus on and count when runs get rough, but I can also tell it’s good for my body. My favorite part is that you breathe out on a new foot each time since it’s an odd number.
I have no earthly idea if those are good tips or bad tips or why they work or even IF they work, but they’re my go-to tricks!
Five Running Tips/Tricks for Proper Technique
Thinking about these tricks and Phoebe-running sent me on a google search for more tips and tricks for proper form and technique when out on the road… here are just a few new ones I will do my best to remember!
Cadence is Important
Your cadence should be about 180-foot strikes per minute. Honestly, I’ve never counted mine. Maybe I will tomorrow… the internet suggests counting steps for 15 seconds and then multiplying by 4 but that is a lot of math while running, and I don’t do math well just sitting, so I’m just gonna count for a minute.
A common mistake that is made by runners is to increase stride length thinking that will make you go faster… but that’s not necessarily the case. “The more time your feet spend on the ground, the more energy is required to propel it forward. Focus on increasing your cadence, and in turn, your efficiency.”
There is nothing I love more than efficiency, so this is something I am definitely going to start paying much more attention to!
Relax (& Sleep!)
Another big hurdle that runners face is getting too wound up and tight. This is something I know I struggle with! Focus on staying more relaxed, especially with your upper body.
Swinging your arms back and forth while running is necessary, so pay attention and try to keep your shoulders relaxed and hands lose. One tip is to act like you’re holding raw eggs in your hands, don’t squeeze too tight! Locking your cage should help with this as well!
The other side of this equation is to be sure to get sleep. This makes me laugh because I sleep less than most people I know – but being well-rested not only improves your performance, but it reduces inflammation, lowers joint pain, and speeds up healing times when you are injured.
Keep Lookin’ Up
When you run – you move forward. Obviously. However, where do you usually look? I know I’m guilty of staring at my feet.
Partly because the sidewalks in my neighborhood are deadly and I need to make sure I’m not going to crash and burn… but it’s also out of habit. I look down. A lot.
It is also important to keep your toes pointed in the direction you want to go, which isn’t always the most natural feeling thing in the world. But, as the internet assures me, practice makes perfect and if you continue to correct your foot stance while running then eventually it will become more natural!
Run Around the Clock
Okay so I found this tip via Shape.com and just have to copy and paste the whole thing because I don’t think I can recap and do it justice:
For perfect running form, your legs should move like the hands on a clock (Imagine tracing a clock with your pedal stroke on a bike. That’s where this clock would be in relation to your body.) When you run, think about bringing your foot up to the 12 o’clock position, reaching out to 3 o’clock, striking the ground directly beneath your body at 6 o’clock, then pushing off to 9 o’clock behind you. This circular motion mimics cycling and allows fast turnover.
I think that is similar to my “like you’re walking up a flight of stairs” tip I’ve been holding on to for so long. I’m absolutely going to try this on my next run!
Strengthen Your Whole Body
This one is a no-brainer, and something I’ve talked about a lot recently.
Strength. Train. … seriously!
I’ve been implementing a little bit of strength training and have already noticed a significant difference. I am going to be doing Beachbody’s LIIFT 4 program starting next Monday, so I am REALLY excited to see how that goes!
So there you have it – a few new tips/tricks/techniques to focus on this summer while preparing for a crazy fall race schedule!!