Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Running Tips

Perfect your posture and you will run smoother, faster and with less fatigue. Here’s what endurance coach and two-time Badwater champ Lisa Smith-Batchen recommends: Keep your pelvis forward, your shoulders squared over your belly button, your breathing regular and puff from your belly, and your thumb pistoning straight back and forth to your hips.

2.Incline-pushup salute
According to Smith-Batchen, the incline-pushup salute is one of the best static exercises to prepare for a run. Push up against a bench with two arms, then twist at the hip and raise one arm until it’s pointing at the sky. “The triceps which you build from this will power your arms and the strengthened pecs will be strong to prevent your chest from caving in when you’re tired,” she says.

3.Train as a runner
To train as a runner, your body needs to learn to have quick hands and feet, says Smith-Batchen. The best training for that is jumping rope. Keep at it until you can reel off 100 reps without tripping on the jump rope.

4.Run smart
Ray Zahab, an ultra-runner who has won an individual title in the Artic Yukon Ultra says that to run smart, you should imagine pedaling a unicycle: keep your shoulders plumb-lined over your hips and kick back with your feet instead of reaching out. “To speed up, lean forwards from the ankles instead of bending forward from the waist; you’ll create a light controlled fall instead of a muscle-intensive series of pushoffs.”

5.To go faster
“By pushing from the ankles, you will go faster with less effort and you’ll preserve your legs by stacking your weight over your strong, protectively arched midfeet, instead of crashing down on the sensitive nerves in your heels or the fragile tendons in your toes,” says Zahab.

6.Build strength
Men's Health columnist and ultra man Dean Karnazes says distance running can be prepped by running stairs to build strength. “It will build strength in your legs and lungs. Find a staircase or stadium, ideally with more than 100 steps for a weekly workout. Start by running to the top a single step at a time and walking back down. Work your way up to 10 sets. Next phase: two steps at a time, walking down, five sets. Final phase: two steps up, single steps down, running both ways, working up from five to 10 sets. Keep at it till you can repeat this routine 3 or 4 days a week.”

7.Running quicker, not harder
You can prevent fatigue by running quicker, not harder. Karnazes says a higher turnover rate (how quickly you put one foot in front of the other), can make you faster with less effort. Elite distance runners stay in the range of 185 to 200 steps per minute. Varying your cadence/turnover can conserve energy and shift the load among different muscles. As you tire and slow down, focus on cadence, not speed. This might mean taking shorter, quicker steps. A rule of thumb: If your stride rate falls below 150 to 160 steps per minute, you’ll want to shorten your stride and increase turnover.

8.Train for recovery
Train for recovery. “Big distance can mean big hurt,” says Karnazes. “The day after you train for a long run, you must force yourself to exercise.” Try a bike ride, a swim, or just a nice walk. “The movement increases bloodflow, clearing the by-products of intense exercise from your muscles and helping restore flexibility.”

9.Always have your hydrations ready
“Carry bottled water and drink all day,” says Karnazes. “Your hydrated cells will thank you.”

10.Focus on running the mile
Record holder of the half marathon Ryan Hall says you should always focus on running the mile you’re in. “Don’t try to think about how far you have to go in the beginning because it can be overwhelming or how far you’ve run near the end because that will give you an excuse to fatigue.”

No comments: