Four things that WILL improve your running
#1 Hip strengthening. All coaches will agree that staying healthy and training consistently are the primary keys to success. If you can train healthy for months and years at a time you will improve – its one of the guarantees in running. The problem is staying strong and healthy. Runners a prone to injury due to the impact running has on your joints and muscles. The easiest and simplest way to avoid injury is to strengthen the areas that are most likely going to lead to injury. In running, that’s the hips.
Research identifies that weakness and tightness in the hips as the primary cause for almost all knee injuries as well as plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. Adding a running specific hip strengthen routine to your training doesn’t have to take long. A simple routine based around clamshell exercises, side-steps, single-leg glute bridges and quadruped hip extensions will provide everything you need.
#2 Perform a dynamic warm-up. Another quick, simple way to avoid injuries is to ensure that your muscles, tendons and ligaments are prepared to handle the impact and stresses of running before you actually begin in run. Dynamic warm-ups only take minutes to perform and include exercises such as ankle rolls, calf raisers, walking lunges, leg swings and single leg deadlifts.
#3 Improve your cadence. A subtle increase in step rate can substantially reduce the loading to the hip and knee joints during running and may prove beneficial in the prevention of common running-related injuries. Too determine your cadence count the number of times your left foot hits the ground whilst running for 30 seconds at normal easy pace. Double that number to get a total for 60 seconds, then double it again to get the total for both feet. If your cadence is less than 170spm attempt to increase this number by 5% for 30 seconds. Once you can comfortably run at your new spm (without thinking about it) repeat the process until you reach a cadence between 170-180spm.
# 4 Slow Down. Slowing down on your easy runs is not only one of the easiest ways to prevent injury, but it will help you race faster as well. Without getting into the science behind why this is so, you just need to know that running easy helps develop the aerobic system AND the aerobic system contributes up to 85-99% of energy needed to race. Easy days can also function as active recovery from your hard workouts – but not if you run them too fast.
Don’t read this article and do nothing. So often people have good intentions are well read and know what they have to do, but at the end of the day, if you don’t take action and don’t train you’ll never become a better runner. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.