Running is what our bodies were designed and evolved to do, unfortunately the modern way of life has left most people wanting to use the car, or take the train, hence the obesity epidemic. As long as you plan your training well, trying not to increase your run distance to far to soon, then running will offer great returns in both fitness and weight loss and always leave you with a natural high.Running requires both little skill and equipment, however investment in good footwear is essential.
Running can be performed outside on the roads, across country or on an athletics track.
Indoor running machines offer a good simulation as well as a good workout.
Beginners should start slowly and possible hold onto the machine, until they get used to the movement, making sure that they know both how to operate and stop the machine in case of an emergency.
A common mistake made by most people on running machines is to run too slow. This results in a shortened stride, and also wasted muscle actions to hold the leg up, whilst the other leg is travelling back on the running belt.
Basic techniques that will aid in both improving your running, and preventing injury are:
- Foot placement
Aim to strike the floor with your heel and push off with the ball of your foot. Some runners, especially sprinters prefer to run on their toes - aim to make the movement feel as natural as possible
- Length of Stride
The longer your stride, the more efficient your running will normally be. Persons in poor health, or in rehabilitation will find a shorter stride more comfortable. Control your stride when running downhill, and aim for faster shorter strides uphill
- Body position
Aim to lean slightly forward whilst running up hill, upright when running on the flats and slightly back when running down hill. Your head should be up, looking straight ahead
Should be comfortable, ideally in through the nose and out through the mouth
Whilst running your arms need to be relaxed, as they move at the same speed as your legs, on an alternating basis, i.e. left leg / right arm, then vice versa. Aim to move the arms forward and back, keeping the arms close to your sides bent at about 90 degrees
- Sprinting & Uphill
When sprinting or running up hills a pumping action with the arms will aid your running