So you thought you’d give running a go?
Let’s be honest, you’ve never really been a “runner” as such, usually you’d opt for the weights in the gym or do HIIT workouts and circuits. But considering the gyms are shut, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, you thought you’d try running.
Well, if that is you, keep reading, here’s some tips that could really help you get the most out of your runs.
Consider correct running form.
Let’s face it, running with bad form is only going to end bad. So what is the correct form?
Starting from the top working our way down, ideally you want to be looking straight ahead, shoulders relaxed, with an upright torso. You don’t want to be too tensed, so unclench your hands, and keep your arms relaxed, swinging at your side. Your hips should be pointing straight ahead, with you legs beneath your body, knees slightly bent, and landing between the heel and mid-foot.
Different types of runs - Recovery, Long distance, Short distance, Sprints.
Not all runs are made equal. In fact, the type of running you decide to incorporate into your fitness regime can greatly determine the outcome of your results. Maybe you want to run just for fun, and that’s fine also, but know what you’re getting into. Recovery runs are typically done at a low intensity and can be a great way to recover from higher intensity workouts on your “rest days”. Generally speaking, long distance runs are designed to increase raw endurance, whereas shorter distance runs are a great way to work on your running speed. Sprints are a different ball game, and if done correctly, can produce amazing strength and speed results!
Hills for power!
If you’ve ever ran up a hill you’ll know just how challenging this can actually be. One of the beauties of hill running is that it really works on your dynamic power, hip strength and hip mobility because you need to be able to drive those hips really high to get up. Hills may seem daunting at first, but take on the challenge and you’ll find a pot of gold on the other side, a more powerful, efficient stride, which can also net you faster running times!
Just like with any form of exercise, it’s important to stay hydrated.
Post Workout : Stretch & Refuel.
Naturally, your muscles are going to tighten up after running, so performing stretching exercises after a run will help you cool down gradually and help to improve your flexibility. Spend 5 minutes to stretch out your hip flexors, quads, hamstrings and calves and you’ll notice the difference.
Refuelling is also important, after running your energy levels are going to low, so refuel and re-energise yourself. Do not starve yourself!
Don’t just run - Strengthen your body as well.
Running alone, without any strength training, is likely going to leave you with niggles and pains. Whereas supplementing running with strength training exercises will not only help you prevent injury, but it will also make you a stronger, faster, and more efficient runner. It’s a no brainer, make sure you involve strength training!
Mix it up & have fun!
Running doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it have to be serious. If you want to go for a light jog to clear your mind, then do that, if you want to challenge yourself and take running a bit more serious, then you can do that also. The main thing though is that you enjoy doing it. Just like any activity, if you don’t enjoy it, what’s the point? So have fun with your training, end of!