As we presume, you have already started running exercises, or at least got interested in them. Take a look at the previous article, unless you have already read it, and see how you can improve your running experience further: read on.
Watch Your Body
The quality of your running exercises depends not only on how fast you move your legs. It is the work for the whole body, too.
Head. Your eyes are to look straight forward. Your chin shouldn’t be pinned to a chest. It is not good if your head sways forward or backward.
Shoulders. Everything is simple here: shoulders need relaxation. Many runners strain them, making the whole body tired a lot faster, and the run tempo much slower. If you feel your shoulders are strained, shake your arms and try to relax the upper part of your body. Remember such position, and try keeping your shoulders relaxed till the training ends.
Arms. Legs work as arms tell them to. Keep this in mind, and try moving your arms in a way to make your legs run nice and straight. This means that your arms are to move as swings – back and forth – with a wide amplitude. Don’t pin them to your body, and don’t move them side-to-side. Form a 90-degree angle in each elbow joint. Hands are “slight fists” with fingers easily touching palms.
Body. Body is to be straightened, no tilts are allowed. Simple and easy.
Hips. Your muscles have to move hips directly forwards. It is better not to allow hips go behind your back or wag from left to right.
Feet. Feet have to spring while pushing out from the surface. You should land on your foot’s middle part, not on the toe or heel. It’s better to push yourself forward by the part which is below your thumb. And one thing: don’t make too wide steps! It would be perfect if your foot contact the surface while being directly under the body.
Slowly but Surely
“It is better to hurry up slowly” – the phrase which fits running exercises greatly. If you want to teach your body to run quickly and for a long time, there’s no time & reason to hurry. Increasing the tempo or making a distance longer too early: both are classical mistakes not only for newbies, but for “second-chance” runners, too.
Remember the golden rule of ten percent. Increase distance or tempo to 10% if comparing to a previous week.
For instance, it took you 90 minutes to train during the first 7 days. Then you may run 9 minutes longer on the week #2. Only 9 minutes, not 20 or 30!
Same goes for distances: first week – 5 miles, next one – 5,5 miles. And not 8 or 10!
Make Some Diversity
Every runner might lose inspiration some time and feel that runs start to bore. What to do? Find ways to diverse your exercises. Good thing to hear, these ways are quite numerous, so everyone could find something special for themselves.
Music. Do you find it boring to run hearing only your thoughts? Then make a playlist built of your favorite tracks and enjoy music which accompanies your runs. The main thing is to remember that human unconsciously makes run tempo correspond the music rhythm. So, it is better to watch after this while running, or to choose special music for runners, which is of appropriate cadence (frequency). If music doesn’t quite fit you, listening to favorite audiobooks or podcasts might help.
A group of like-minded people. Maybe, you’re bored of running alone, aren’t you? Then, go and find some friends who are ready to support your sports activity. Or join any runners’ club. Training will be more of a fun. Plus, the responsibility will appear. Now you won’t find a hundred and one excuse for yourself to stay in bed at 6 AM: your friends wait for you outside!
Runner’s diary. That’s an option for those who like to provide diaries to watch after something and to follow the statistics data as well. Looking after your progress, analyzing the processes and circumstances influencing your training results, this is what may become your motivator. Now you not just run, but have the ability to keep an eye on your progress, to notice factors it depends on, to make appropriate conclusions and corrections for improving your results. There are applications or even “Healthy” social media which can be helpful to runners.
Meditation. One more way to diverse your runs is including conscious meditation exercises into them. You learn to “listen” to your body, to understand your feelings and to use this info according to your goals. Pay some attention to the world around you, too: there are lots of natural sounds, smells, views… This helps a lot while running long distances.
It’s Never Too Late
You should never think you’re too old to start running. It is actually never too late to run! Nobody asks you to become the fastest sprinter or the toughest ultramarathoner. Just a slight run, which can be easily changed to a walk. No matter what others think and say. Don’t be afraid to look silly before other experiences runners.
The main thing is to make your training safe from injuries, to support your health and to give you pleasure. Nothing else matters.