HOW TO RUN RIGHT
Improve your run posture and times with these tips
Unless you come from a coached track or road running background, in our experience we find that running is the most technically neglected of the three triathlon disciplines. Running is the hardest of the three disciplines on our body, and causes the most injuries. Few triathletes have been taught how to run.
This is at odds with how we should approach running, so here we focus on posture to help reduce the wear and tear on our bodies, and avoid injuries.
IDENTIFYING POOR POSTURE
Look out for these key indicators, and check yourself regularly: • Are you slouched? • Are your shoulders hunched? • Is your neck bent over? • When you walk do you lean over from the waist, eyes focused on the ground just in front of you, with plodding steps? • When you do a light run/jog, are your shoulders slightly forward, eyes and head down with a small bend at the waist, stride slightly ponderous or laboured? Practising your posture in everyday life is the key to replicating it while running. After all, when you run your body is under stress no matter how good a runner you are, therefore developing good habits and checking yourself regularly while you are at rest educates your body to do you the same while running too.
TIPS FOR DEVELOPING GOOD RUNNING POSTURE
• Keep your head up with eyes looking into the distance, only intermittently checking the road surface. Pick a spot in the distance to focus on, while thinking of running tall. • Your body should be in a straight line with no bend at the waist. This is a tough one to manage consistently particularly as you get tired. By pushing the pelvis forward this should make you more upright, while again trying to run tall. Imagine a string pulling your head up. • Lean slightly forward. To achieve this, bend forward at the ankle so your body weight is slightly forward. This adds to your forward motion while keeping your back straight. • Keep your arms relaxed, with shoulders pulled slightly back. You should feel as if your chest is opened up, instead of constricted by the weight of your upper body. This also helps breathing efficiency. • Finally, relax. These interventions are hard to master straight away, so do so gradually. If you feel yourself tensing up, stop to shake out the tension, reset, and try again.
PUT IT INTO PRACTISE
As part of your training, you should be doing some easier runs. This is a great time to think about your posture. You can take it as far as to spend some time walking with good posture before you start your gentle run, thinking about your posture.
During your run choose two stints of five minutes or so where you take the time to concentrate on the above points.