IM­PROVE YOUR RUN­NING STRIDE

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - JONATHAN BEVERLY Ro­dalewell­ness.com

You know the science and nec­es­sary work that go into a bet­ter stride. But ap­ply­ing them quickly into your run­ning rou­tine is no easy feat.

Fol­low these steps to start strid­ing bet­ter: 1. Add spice Mix up your train­ing paces, ter­rain and shoes. The first step to run­ning bet­ter is to let your body op­ti­mize it­self. To do so, it needs to break out of ruts and be given op­tions. If you do noth­ing else, you will be a bet­ter runner if you do this: Run of­ten. At dif­fer­ent paces, re­mem­ber­ing how to set a re­al­is­tic pace. Mostly easy. 2. Get inspired Watch videos of elite ath­letes like Ke­nenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba, Sha­lane Flana­gan, Meb Ke­flezighi, and Galen Rupp. Pay at­ten­tion to their pos­ture, their hips, and the way the tops of their legs move. 3. Shift your stride Work to­ward mov­ing the power stroke of your stride be­hind you so that you push, not pull. To do this, work on these four ar­eas.

a. Get tall. As­sess your hip pos­ture and start learning a new neu­tral balance.

b. Make sure you can move. As­sess your hip ex­ten­sion and start stretch­ing to im­prove your range of mo­tion.

c. Build a bet­ter butt. Get your glutes ac­ti­vated and start strength­en­ing them (just fol­low these steps to strength­en­ing your body with­out work­ing out).

d. Bring your arms back. Get your shoul­ders and arms back through stretch­ing, mo­bi­liza­tion, and cu­ing. 4. Shore up the foun­da­tion Im­prove your foot strength, mo­bil­ity and pro­pri­o­cep­tion to im­prove your balance, pop off the ground faster, and re­duce in­jury risk. 5. Step quickly Play with dif­fer­ent ca­dences to find your op­ti­mal ranges at dif­fer­ent speeds and to mix up how you move so that your body in­te­grates new abil­i­ties. 6. Mix it up more Add drills to im­prove your range of mo­tion and to re­cruit new mus­cles and pat­terns. Get off-road: Sprint down a moun­tain or up a hill. Get bare­foot. Play Fris­bee. Try a dif­fer­ent brand and style of shoe. Push your­self a few times per week. Do in­ter­vals on grass. Give your body a chance to find and adopt bet­ter ways of mov­ing. 7. Get real In­te­grate pos­ture, mo­bil­ity, and strength work into your daily life to re­in­force new habits and build the pos­tural en­durance nec­es­sary to stay tall and bal­anced dur­ing all of your runs. 8. Be a child In ac­tions and at­ti­tude, be open to the new, phys­i­cally and in­tel­lec­tu­ally.

It’s harder to make changes af­ter age 30 — so don’t act your age. Re­learn how to play like a kid again. Don’t be afraid to look and act goofy. Let peo­ple see you sweat, get out of your com­fort zone, be will­ing to fail. Keep learning. Be open to new ideas, even those that con­tra­dict what you think you know.

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Work to­ward mov­ing the power stroke of your stride be­hind you so that you push, not pull.

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