Tips to improve your running

I’m lately really starting to get back into my running groove. For a while there, I had been running but mainly sticking to lower impact forms of cardio because I’ve been trying to take it easier on my knees the past few months. Man oh man, does it ever feel great to be doing the thing that I love so much so regularly again!

With the more consistent runs, I have also been trying to remind myself of the tips I’ve learned over the course of many years of being in this sport. I have gone to running clinics and had running coaches, as well as learned a lot from myself just from pure experience.

I’d love to take some time now to share with you some of the best running tips that I can give you to improve your speed, endurance and to lower the chances of injury!

tips to improve running

With each step, land your foot directly underneath your body. Over-striding or landing your foot in front of your body adds extra stress and impact to the body. With each step, your foot should land underneath your hips!

Get your cadence to about 180 steps per minute. To go along with the previous tip, try to get your cadence to about 180 steps or 90 strikes per foot per minute. Runners with a cadence of about 180 are more likely to have short, quick strides, which means we are having a mid foot strike rather than over-striding!

Run light on your feet! Try to avoid pounding! I made this mistake for the longest time. By the end of a long run, the bottoms of my feet would feel as though they were burning, bad sign!

Lean slightly forward from your ankles, not your waist. Lean forward and use gravity to help make some forward momentum! This will help you to propel your body forward. It is especially helping to do this when going downhill as well during races.

Avoid swinging your hands cross your midline. Keep your arms going forward and backward, not side to side. Drive your elbows back while keeping your arms at about a 90 degree angle. This technique will also help you with the following tip…

Run TALL! When I feel like I am starting to hunch over, I love to reach my arms up high above my head. This resets my body and helps me to elongate my spine! The more core work that I do outside of running, the easier it is for me to keep great posture and to avoid hunching over throughout my run!

Get rid of the bounce. Bouncing as you run wastes extra energy! Move forward instead of up and down.

Relax your shoulders! I tend to tense them up towards my ears as I am running. You’ll feel the pain in your upper back when you start to do this during longer runs.That is a waste of energy, and it causes extra unneeded tension!  Relax your shoulders and let them enjoy the ride!

Relax your hands. Don’t clench them tightly. Gently cup your hands as you run.

Keep your eyes looking ahead of you about 10 to 20 feet.

I like to spend each mile of my ‘form runs’ (the runs where I really focus in on my form each week) on a different aspect. For example, on your next run, you could spend mile 1 warming up, mile 2 working on leaning forward from your ankles, mile 3 on your arm swing, mile 4 on your posture and mile 5 on combining all of them together for some good looking running.

Music This one is a personal, but can be helpful to many! I have noticed that my speed and endurance actually increases when I’m listening to some upbeat tunes that I love, not to mention it adds some entertainment to the run and can make it seem less daunting and more enjoyable!

Friday Fartlek Run

Hello, good morning, afternoon! Whatever it may be for you.

I hope you are enjoying your wonderous day as much as i am. This morning I got out for a good run. I actually just recently moved back to Alberta, Canada, to a little town called Slave Lake. It’s a quaint place with a provincial park right near the water. 

I forgot how much I had been craving a good outdoorsy trail run. This is definitely the town to do something like that! It also reminded me of how much I missed this place. The people are so friendly, the environment is clean and green and beautiful, it’s such a more relaxed lifestyle than my usual fast-paced living in the Greater Toronto Area. 

I even stopped to take a few pictures along the way during my run. To really stop and appreciate my surroundings. It really is such a great method of stress relief and meditation for my mind.

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Slave Lake!
Slave Lake!
A beautiful provincial park
A beautiful provincial park

 

I love to explore nature!
I love to explore nature!

For those of you who might not know the ‘technical’ terms in running, a fartlek run is another word for ‘speed play’. Think of doing intervals through out your run, but put into it almost at random so shock your body.

These runs always kick my butt. But they are necessary in training to make me stronger and faster. HELLO PR! 

This particular run, I ran about 15 minutes at an easy pace at which I would be able to hold a conversation. Next, I did 30 seconds of sprints followed by a minute of easy pace. I repeated this about 5 times. I then continued at my comfortable pace and then finished off the last 2 km’s with my 5 km race pace (a faster but not deathly speed).

It’s safe to say by the end of this run I was TIRED and felt soooo awesome! I honestly love the feeling of exertion and knowing I worked damned hard to improve my body and give it what it needs. 

Well, enjoy the rest of your day! Perhaps I’ll connect with you later on 🙂