Since we went into lockdown, the roads have less cars and more runners, which is AWESOME! Running is incredible for clearing the mind and finding some headspace, but who wouldn't want to improve as a runner if we are out there doing it anyway. So here are my top tips to become a better runner.
- GET PROPER SHOES! Yesterday I saw someone out running in converse and it sent shivers down my spine. Now I know there is some positive research into benefits of barefoot running, but this takes practise and time. My favourite running trainers are from ON running, they are incredibly comfy and the little pockets on the sole make you feel like its propelling you forward. Go check this handy tool out on the website to find the perfect shoe for you. https://www.on-running.com/en-gb/shoe-finder
- PLAN YOUR ROUTE. Again, sounds obvious but I know a lot of people who just step out their door and run in circles staring at their watch to run for a distance. Running is built into our DNA. Thousands of years ago we would run from danger or to find food and so running to a destination is scientifically more stimulation than running for data on a watch. I love using OS maps to plot a route before I leave. It is such a great way to plan a distance and to discover new footpaths that you didn't know existed. https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/os-maps-online.html
- WARM UP PROPERLY. So many of us use the first mile as a warm up, but here are some home truths about that. Running is a high impact exercise that has a high risk of injury, going into that cold will increase that risk significantly. Also, tightness in the hips, knees and ankles will result in inefficiency which means you having to put in more effort for less results. Head over to the Run Club session on FITLIVE to see how to warm up properly for your run. https://www.facebook.com/steven.gregory.79/videos/2940948315995775/
- TO RUN FAST YOU HAVE TO RUN FAST. This means intervals. It is very difficult to get any quicker by doing the same steady paced run the whole time. My favourite interval session is on my Instagram and it has helped me massively to improve my 5k PB. Check it out by following me @fitlife.steve
- CADENCE IS KEY. Do you know your running cadence? This is the amount of steps you take in a minute. If you don't have the tech that can track this simply count your steps for a minute. An easy way to do this is just count your right foot each time it strikes and multiply by 2. For longer runs, a cadence of 150 - 170 is good but for a quick 5k time you want to be turning those legs over at about 180 spm. If you can piece that together with a longer running stride that bobs your uncle, you are a faster runner. For a 5k, Mo Farah takes 208 steps per minute and has a stride lengths of 2.20 metres. See how you compare to Mo on your next run.
If you can piece these 5 tips together then I can almost gaurentee you will be hitting PB's everytime you try.
Thank you for reading.
Stay safe, feel fit, love life.