Run Like a Boss
Tips to Step Up Your Running Game
Thinking of taking up running? Looking to become a better runner? Or did you perhaps unknowingly marry into a family that runs a 5k on the morning of every holiday regardless of rain, shine or snow?
Never fear- here are a few tips to brush up on your running habits to make sure you’re ready to go the extra mile! (Or any mile at all)
<h2> Have the Proper Shoes
Shoes are the heart and sole of your workout! If you have yet to invest in a solid pair of running shoes, now is the time. Local, independent running stories are recommended over bigger retail stores; they’ll have staff that is more knowledgeable on evaluating your gait to determine the best shoe style and brand to properly fit your needs for smooth running.
Remember, shoes are not something you should skimp on. A good pair of running shoes is not going to be cheap, but investing in a proper pair is vital to getting the most out of your workout! With the pounding that your body is going to take from running, getting a pair that is custom to your needs is important.
<h2> Running Form
All bodies are different, which means everyone runs differently. But that’s ok! Everyone’s ideal form is going to be unique to their body, but there are a few things that you can spot check during each run to keep yourself in good running condition:
Holding tension in your shoulders is common, and it’s a main cause of injury during any workout. Keeping your shoulders down will help keep you from wasting your energy and allow for a smoother run.
Every so often during your run, take a deep breath and sigh. You should immediately feel your shoulders drop, which will help keep your chest open for better breathing.
Long distance runners will use their arms differently than sprinters. Sprinters typically pump their arms to help with speed, but long distance runners need to conserve their energy.
If you’re mainly interested in long distance running, make sure you’re letting your arms naturally swing rather than holding them against your sides or pumping them too hard.
As we get tired, our natural inclination is to slouch. But if you slouch, the curved position of your body makes it harder because you’re not engaging the core. Make sure you’re keeping your shoulders down, your core tight and your chin parallel to the ground for optimal running posture!
Athletes tend to rely heavily on their chest muscles when breathing, and results in you taking in less oxygen. The chest muscles are also smaller which means they will fatigue more quickly in comparison to using your diaphragm.
Using your diaphragm, or breathing from your abdomen, allows your lungs to expand to the greatest volume and allow for more air to enter your lungs and thus be transferred to your circulatory system. If you are not familiar with using your diaphragm, here’s a quick way to learn the technique:
- Lie down on your back
- Keep your shoulders and chest still
- Focus on raising your belly as you inhale, and lowering your belly as you exhale
- Breathe in and out slowly through your nose and mouth
Improving your breathing is not only going to help with your endurance, but can help make you faster!
<h2> Join a Running Club/Run with a Group
Part of improving your running experience is by making it fun and social! Join a running club or get a few running buddies to help keep you accountable and invested in your workouts. This will not only help prevent you from skipping your workouts, but running with partners allows you to challenge yourself.
<h2> Strength Training is Important!
If you’re a brand new runner, building up your strength is just as important as working on your endurance. Experienced runners condition their whole bodies! 5-10 minutes of strength training your arms, legs and core each day is enough to keep you going. This could include pilates, yoga or a stair machine- no need to use machine weights.
<h2> Don’t Be Afraid to Walk
If you’re new to running, building endurance and speed take time. Overall your focus should be on distance rather than time- if you need to, don’t be afraid to slow it down or take walk breaks. In fact, you can actually build more strength and benefit your running if you slow down from time to time!
<h2> Have Fun!
Working out is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it! Finding joy in your running journey is important to staying on track especially on days when all you want to do is sit. If you’re getting frustrated or feeling down about your progress, just remember:
- Appreciate your small victories, whether that’s reaching your weekly goal or just getting in a ten minute run.
- Forward is a pace. Don’t stress about how fast you’re going or how far you’re going, just keep going!
No matter how fast, how far, or how often you run, you are a runner!
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