Everybody runs. Many people run well, and some people do so incredibly quickly. However, as more and more people run to keep fit, it is worth examining whether your running style is as efficient, and as beneficial to your overall fitness as possible.
Incorporate Regular Running Into Your Wider Fitness Routine
If you run rarely, and exercise even less regularly, you will struggle to build-up strength in your leg muscles. This will mean that you run more slowly, taking shorter strides and stopping to catch your breath more frequently, as the unusual activity your muscles will be experiencing, will cause your body to produce large quantities of lactic acid. Lactic acid causes that painful ‘burning’ feeling whenever you exercise too hard.
Too much of it will turn an early morning run into a sore bus journey home. Exercising all your muscles, particularly those which have been left out of your fitness routine thus far, will ensure that both your legs and your core have the strength to manage longer and longer runs. Anyone can benefit from running and gradually increase their speed. As with anything in life, developing the ability to maintain a fast running pace takes practice. By incorporating some running over short distances into your wider fitness routine, and gradually running further and further, you will improve your running performance.
Wear The Right Baselayer
Jogging into a wall of your own sweat will do nothing for your overall running performance. By wearing a baselayer that wicks effectively, so that the sweat moves away from your body, your running will immediately be more energised, your breathing will become easier on the move, and your cardio will improve no end. Leave panting in the past and wear compression activewear which allows you to perform.
Compression activewear will allow your muscles to recover more quickly after you run, by compressing them into one place and consequently reducing the abrupt and volatile movements which can cause them to tear during prolonged exercise.
Compression socks will also reduce your risk of developing blisters while you run, saving you from having to wait a week between runs while your feet heal.
The more strides you take on your route from A to B, the more quickly you will get to your destination. Likewise, your stride rate (strides per minute) is integral to your running speed. There are plenty of apps which will measure your stride rate for you as you run, if you keep your phone in your pocket while exercising. You should have a stride rate of 180. You can maintain this pace by listening to music at 180 bpm while you run and moving to the beat. Should your stride rate fall to 170 or less, then you are wasting energy and possibly taking selfies next to various trees mid-run.
If you find that you have a low stride rate, do not become disappointed and give up running. You will only improve with practice. The combination of personal commitment, dedication, compression activewear that works as hard as you do and the right playlist, will give you a sufficiently high running performance to jog past that fast friend who always gloats about their speed in no time at all.