So You Want to Run Faster?
It's no secret that running is great exercise. Furthermore, it's incredibly beneficial to your overall health and well being; it can help to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, and a whole slew of other health problems. However, nobody ever said that running was easy. In fact, when I first started to run, I could barely make it around the block without wheezing and stopping at every turn, doubled over with side cramps. But it's worth it to keep trying. And there are ways to help you become a better runner, such as the tips that you'll find below:
#1: Manage your posture.
How we hold ourselves can have a wide range of effects on our daily life- it can portray our confidence (or lack thereof), it can affect what we do and don't notice (POLE!), and, when running, our posture can either hinder or help us. According to Jay Dicharry, director of the REP Biomechanics Lab, author of Anatomy for Runners and USATF-certified coach, "Most of us stand back on our heels and lock out our knees. We just 'hang out' in our posture. When you stand like this all day, you'll start to run like this, too. And, poor posture can inhibit your hip strength by half." He recommends being aware of your stance while running, and maintaining a tall stance and neutral spine, and taking the weight off of your heels.
#2: Strengthen your core muscles.
When you run, you are depending your core strength to promote stabilization and to allow your lower body to work effectively with your upper body. Maintaining a strong core can also help you to retain correct form, even after you are physically and emotionally exhausted. Experts recommend that you follow a core-strengthening exercise routine two to three times a week in order to keep your core in running shape.
#3: Mix up your exercise.
Even though running is your main focus, switching up your workouts can help to increase your overall endurance and stamina. Cheri Fogelman, Master Trainer at CLAY Health Club + Spa, says, "There are so many other modalities that can support running. The more things you do that are different, the better athlete you become." On your days off from running, try switching things up by trying a dance class (which would also be great for your core), a martial arts class, a pilates class, or a yoga class.