The sun is shining and I know you all want to throw on your running shoes and hit the trails or roads, right? Us too! But there may be a few things you want to consider first. Running injuries are generally always the result of poor movement patterns that are reinforced with every foot strike so it is important to determine if there are any technical aspects that you can improve on. Here are a few running tips to improve your efficiency and reduce the incidence of injuries:
Avoid Over Striding- Knees should flex directly over ankle regardless of what your foot strike pattern is. This will reduce the impact on the body. If your heel lands in front of your knee than chances are you are over striding.
Tall Posture- The majority of people spend too much time sitting which shortens hip flexors, tightens anterior muscles, and weakens glutes and muscles of the posterior chain. If this position of shoulders rounded forward, hips flexed, and minimal activation of the core are what the body spends the most time in it will transfer over into your running so try standing and add activity wherever you can throughout the day. Remaining tall with adequate hip extension when running is fundamental in becoming an efficient runner
Relax Shoulders-Tense shoulders can inhibit movement of the arms. Your arms provide power, rhythm and balance which are important elements that aid in becoming a better runner!
Don’t Bounce & Rotate Excessively- Running is a linear motion, travelling forward therefore energy is wasted if there is a bounce or rotation sideways. We want to propel ourselves forward in the most efficient way possible.
For those running a marathon, for example, an extra one inch of bounce with each step (which doesn’t sound like much), will equate to one extra mile traveled upwards across the marathon distance… what a waste of effort!
Strengthen Glutes & Core-Weaknesses and asymmetries in the glutes and core can lead to hip, knee, and back injuries. These two muscles are key in providing stability for the trunk, hips and pelvis so incorporate regular strength and stability exercises in your weekly routine to improve performance and reduce the chances of injury.
Happy Running Team!