Most people don’t have a hard time picking up running as a habit. They have a hard time sticking to it. It is not uncommon to hear reasons such as body pains or injuries as to why people quit running only a short time after picking it up. These things do happen, but only when indiviuals are not running the right way. And yes, there is a right way. Here are some tips to help you find the right way of running and optimize your work out for the maximum benefit:
- Pick the right type of running for you: There are several categories of running exercises one can do, and these vary, depending on your need:
- Recovery Running: This is used for warming down and requires less efforts. It is done towards the end of your run, to help you cool off. It involves less speed.
- Endurance Running: This is intensive and builds stamina, but should not be done for more than 20 minutes. This includes speed exercises for long durations of time. It is done in order to push your body to its limit and improve performance.
- Tempo Running: This is useful running up hills and maintain your speed and energy while ruining long distances. This involves maintaining the same level of speed over a long period of time. For best results, this type of running is done at an incline.
- Threshold Running: It helps in training for 5km and 10km runs and helps improve speed for marathons. It tests your performance and pushes it to the threshold so as to boost endurance and speed for longer periods of time.
- Sprint Running: This is a specialised form used by endurance runners that pushes them to the limits. It involves sprinting, or speed running, for long distances and is most useful to marathon runners.
- Wear the right shoe: Once you have picked out the style of running best suited to you, it is time to pick the right shoe. Nowadays, the market is flooded with all kinds of running gear. But all you need is a good pair of shoes. Running shoes need to be flat, with no heel. Depending on the type of running, you might have to choose between grooves or no grooves. You can also pick Velcro straps, if laces coming undone bothers you often. There are also several designs and colour options. Do a little more in-depth research to find the best shoe for your needs. There are also videos on YouTube that review running shoes to help you decide which pair to pick. Try out different styles, if you can.
- Try out different step rates: Step rates, also known as cadence refers to the number of steps taken every minute. The average step rate for a regular runner is 180 steps for minute. While it does not have anything to do with speed, playing with your cadence can help you find a more relaxing way of running. Or if you prefer, a more intensive way of running. Try taking fewer steps, or more, and see what suits you best. The matter of fact is, everyone has different step rate. This depends on your body type, pace and other factors. An optimum cadence will result in good running mechanics. You will know you have reached you r best cadence if you don’t feel stressed or too relaxed while running
- Do running drills: The easiest way to strengthen your neuromuscular system is to add some dynamic exercises such as running drills to your routine. Different types of drills engage different muscles. They also help increase your range of motion and introduce you to patterns outside of your regular running style. You can try speed strides, or drills or even jumping hurdles. Takin your body through these new movements stimulates muscles. It can even build stamina and improve endurance.
The simplest way to start doing drills is to place two cones, 100 metres apart. Run between them, touching the tips of your fingers to the cones. Do this for five minutes every day and time it. This will help improve your stamina and boost your speed for short bursts of distances.
- Do it at the right time, everyday: The most important thing to remember is to run at the time best suited for you. Some people are early birds, and prefer a refreshing run to start their day. While some like to run in the evenings, and finish their day with a work out. Whatever you prefer, just remember to be consistent with it. Try running for the same time, at the same time, every day. Do not run right after a meal, as you might feel nauseous. Do not run too soon after waking up, as you might feel lethargic. Do not run too close to your bedtime, as you might find it hard to fall asleep. The best times are half an hour after breakfast or in the evening, as the sun goes down.
In conclusion, pick the right style of running for your requirements. Pick the right shoe for you and run at the right time during the day. Try incorporating drills and some other forms of exercises into your routine. With these few simple habits in place, you can maintain the bait of running more regularly. But most importantly, to avoid injuries, remember to stretch before running!