“The Fast and The Furious”
Day 5 of the Fitness Testing series. RECORD YOUR RESULTS!
Your running mechanics are determined by the strength and flexibility of certain muscles and how your body is built. Here are a few basics to help you maintain proper running form on any terrain from exercise physiologist Adam St. Pierre and Christy Barth, a physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist, both of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine:
Maintain a short, quick stride. Do not try to lengthen your stride; avoid reaching forward with your foot, which can lead to overstriding and will set you up for injury.
Keep your knee in line. Make sure your foot strikes under your knee, not in front of it, which can lead to injury. It doesn’t matter whether the heel or forefoot hits the ground first, as long as your foot is not in front of your knee. This is especially important when running downhill.
Push up and off. Focus on pushing up and off the ground behind you.
Watch your elbows. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees or less.
Relax your hands. Keep hands loose and below your chest. Make sure your hands don’t cross your midline and your hands don’t punch forward, both of which can throw off your gait. Pay careful attention to this when you’re carrying something like a music player or a dog leash. Switch hands halfway through the workout if possible.
Work your core. When starting a running program, it is also a great time to start working on your core strength, particularly your glutes and abdominal muscles. A strong core makes it easier to stay upright—even when you’re tired—and avoid leaning too far forward from your hip, which can lead to injury.
Here are some special considerations to make when you’re climbing a hill or making a descent:
Keep your head and chest up
Look straight ahead
Visualize the road rising to meet you
Keep your shoulders back
Push up and off the hill, springing from your toes
Don’t bend at the waist and hunch over
Keep your hands and fists loose
Keep your torso upright
Look straight ahead
Visualize “controlled falling”
Keep your nose over your toes
Step softly; don’t let your feet slap the pavement
And remember, no single running “method” will make you faster or keep you from getting hurt.
To ensure that, follow these basic training principles:
Ramp up slowly.
Gradually increase your mileage and the amount of time you spend on your feet.
Recover right. Give yourself plenty of time to recover any time you add distance or speed to your workouts.
Wear good shoes. Wear a pair that offers the support and fit that your feet need.
Introduce any changes gradually. If you do change your form, cut back the time you spend working out and the distance you cover to you give your body a chance to adjust.
WTS presents Women’s Self Defense this Saturday 1/23 at Soulsbyville Elementary School! See Flyer on the whiteboard!