Read on for these four tips to help you run faster and reduce the chance of injury.
Tip 1: Lean Forward
Indeed, it looks good to run tall: spine perpendicular to the ground, chest upright, chin tilted slightly up. If you’re running too tall however, your feet will hit the ground in front of your pelvis and centre of mass – known as overstriding– which generates ‘braking force’, slowing you down whilst reducing running efficiency.
It also exhausts your quadriceps and puts your glutes in a position where they are unable to help propel you forward, essentially wasting one of the most powerful movers in our body. A slight lean forward will assist in achieving better foot contact position with the ground by moving your centre of mass forward, whilst putting your glutes in a position they can work. This means more forward drive and better running efficiency! Boom! You’re a more efficient, less injury prone runner already!
Take home tip: Research shows you can change the way you run in 6-8 weeks. The forward trunk lean is a very SUBTLE change. They key here? Ensure the forward trunk lean comes from your whole body starting at the ankles, not just from your trunk.
Tip 2: Minimise Bounce
The proper term here is vertical oscillation, the amount of “bounce” or “bob” up and down when you run. Basically, If you’re bobbing up and down too much, you’re thought to be wasting vital energy in supporting your body weight hitting the ground with increased force than someone who has less ‘bob’. Excess vertical movement isn’t propelling you forward. More time in the air means less time driving yourself forward, whilst also increasing shock you have to absorb when landing. This is going to affect your running performance.
Take home tip: Imagine your head traveling along a straight line as you run
Tip 3: Increase Cadence
Cadence is the number of times your feet make contact with the ground in 1 minute. We’ve previously posted some video content with OTF regarding cadence, running performance and reduced injury risk. A fast cadence (world class runners rate at approximately 180 steps per minute) results in faster running, improved running economy and time to exhaustion. Novice runners typically have a running cadence of between 160-170 steps per minute.
Take home tip: Think fast and light
Tip 4: Strength Train
Strength work accomplishes three important things for runners:
- It prevents injuries by strengthening muscles, bones and tissues;
- It helps you run faster by improving power and neuromuscular coordination
- It improves running economy by encouraging coordination and stride efficiency
FUN FACT: One study completed on this topic put runners on a resistance-training program for 10 weeks three times per week. As we’d expect, results showed that leg strength improved by 30 percent, but more importantly, running time improved by 13 percent!
Take home tip: Just start. Your body and running performance will thank you for it.
Unsure where your running technique could improve? Injury prone and want to know what you can do to stay fit and healthy? Call 8490 0777 or book online here to get a running assessment today.