Continuing for our previous article about Tips to Run Better- Part 1, here is the second list of tips. In the first article, we addressed some basic tips around hydration, food and clothing. This time, we’re getting into more:
4. Run relaxed: Sounds like an oxymoron, but this is actually key to your performance for a long run. As our bodies get tired, our muscles naturally try to tighten up since our body is getting tired and is trying to conserve energy by compressing your body. Clearly, you have a lot of energy stores that the brain is just trying to hoard for the future. So, as you start feeling your muscles tighten, try to relax them a little. Feeling your shoulders bunch up and your back hunch. Consciously, try to keep your back straight and shoulders low. This takes some practice, but will help you run not just further, but definitely faster.
5. Run through the initial hesitation: Some days even though you’re all set to run, it seems like your feet are just dragging when you start. Just run through it for the first mile. Once you’re in the mode of running, you’ll be more energized and won’t feel like your feet are dragging.
6. Distract yourself: I know for all the focus that running requires, I’m asking you to distract yourself. Not exactly, but this is a psychological trick that works wonders. When you start pushing yourself in your runs, you’ll find that it becomes exponentially harder with the distance thats more than your regular distance- your muscles feel tight, legs might be hurting, you’re probably thirsty, out of energy, maybe some uphill track- its like the world is conspiring against your running. At this point, distract yourself from the pain- if you’re running outside, check out the scenery, try to feel the light breee against your skin, or maybe look for a hottie to check out while you run. If you’re in the gym, do some people watching and distract yourself. Play your favourite tracks that pep you, at this point. I have a playlist of songs like this in my iPod. I switch over to them when I’m running low. Studies have shown that runners with music run faster and further!
7. Trick yourself into running more: When you’re feeling the pain and all you want to do it stop- at this point, make short term distance goals. Tell yourself that you’ll run another 0.5 km and stop. When you get there, try to do it for another 0.5 km. Basically, trick yourself into running and you’ll see the magic work
8. Don’t bounce: Have you ever seen those people that bounce with every step they run? That’s not efficient. When you’re running, you want to use your muscle efficiently, so don’t bounce. Use your mucles to move you forward, not up and down. Its recommended that when you run, your head should not bounce more than 2 inches up and down. To do this, try not to take long steps. Take medium steps, land easy on the ball of your feet, not the heels. This also helps to reduce injury since it reduces impact on your joints. When you’re on a treadmill, a good way to reduce bounce is to try to make less noise with each step!
We have some more tips coming out in the Tips to run better- 3 – the last part of this series of tips on running.