Pro running, the benefits
As runners we all know the pain of an injury whether it be a cramp, sprain or a bruise. We’ve all been there. Every year 65% of runners will become injured. The average runner will miss 5–10% of their workouts due to injury. If it is a natural pain relief product you are looking for then try products containing arnica. A plant with anti-inflammatory properties which has been used since the 16th century. You can get Arnica in the form of a cooling gel, which can be massaged into the skin to help soothe the affected area following physical exertion.
WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR RUNNING TECHNIQUE
If you are planning to become a runner and improve your time over a specific distance you really need to build up your lower body strength. Focus on building muscle in thighs, calves and glutes using bodyweight exercises such as lunges and squats.
WEAR THE CORRECT FOOTWEAR
Have your running style analysed professionally to help you pick the perfect shoe for your technique. By wearing the right shoes you dramatically reduce your risk of injury and will improve your running speed and efficiency. Expert fitters should match you with a shoe that will have you instantly running better, more comfortably and with reduced risk.
FIND YOUR RHYTHM
Get in the correct pace for yourself and you’ll be rewarded with greater stamina and fitness. Concentrate on getting your breathing right. Your breathing should be in long deep breaths through your nose and the same out through your mouth. Maximising oxygen in and out. Breathe in for 4 steps and out for 4 steps. This approach will set your breathing rhythm up for the rest of your run. Warm up by walking and jogging for 2 minutes each. Establish a rhythm in your footsteps.
It is worth remembering that whilst you are running, you are about to burn significantly more calories than your body is used to using. By getting your eating habits right will help your body to cope massively. Balance your diet to include good quality protein to help repair and rebuild your working muscles with seasonal fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system to help deal with the stresses your body goes through when running.
DON’T OVERLOAD ON CARBS
If you consume too many carbs the night before they will weigh heavily on you making you sluggish and slower when you run. This is because digestion diverts more blood to the digestive tract meaning that blood that could be used to transport oxygen to your muscles as you run. Stick to clean natural carbs such as rice and it is suggested 2 heaped handfuls in a serving the night before a run.
Running tall can make for an easier run as well as helping to keep injury away. Your posture dominates your running technique. The efficiency of your running technique is directly proportional to the quality of your posture. You need mainstream body movement disciplines. Good posture for running involves having a reasonably straight spine with not too much bend. The more you slump the more your body’s muscles need to work to hold you upright.
FIND A RUNNING BUDDY
Your ideal partner, especially a running partner needs to be someone who won’t take your excuses for why you can’t run or want to run less than planned. Accountability is the most important quality in any type of fitness partner. It’s the best way to never miss a run and also makes the run more fun as you have company and conversation. Having a partner can be a massive motivational factor for commitment.
Interval training is one of the best exercises for improving speed. Runners need to be able to run faster for longer periods of time and this is where interval training aids them. It improves fitness levels and therefore aids an endurance-based exercise such as running. As a runner learns to alternate between bouts of fast paced running with slower paced running known as recovery. The stop start nature of interval training encourages the body to recover quickly and the muscles to work more efficiently at faster/higher speeds. This will, over time increase your ability to run faster for longer. In the fitness industry it is known for its benefits in improving fitness levels quickly, which is great news for busy people who don’t want to spend 2 hours on each training session.
INCLUDE REST DAYS
This is surprisingly one of the most challenging of all for the super-keen. Endorphin levels and the feeling of all-round wellbeing achieved from running means that we just want train! Rest and recovery are a vital part of training. However, this does not mean we become couch potatoes on these days. It is actually good to keep the body moving, but just not through running. Get your body used to some easier movements. Start the day with some stretching exercises and repeat throughout the day. Stay active, keep moving but lower the intensity significantly.