To become a better runner, just running more is not enough
In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire there’s of great races take part in, with the upcoming Robin Hood Marathon & Half Marathon in September being one of them.
Here are my top tips to increase your speed and prevent injury:
Wear the right shoe for you. Those trainers that have no spring in them any more and are falling to bits inside? Bin them. Even better, go get properly checked and fitted by a Podiatrist or a running shop. I recommend a biomechanics check with the knowledgable Phil from Hyde Barker Health in Southwell.
Warm up dynamically. For those not in the know, this means no static stretching before a run. Stretching and holding your foot so your heel hits your rear may look good, but actually makes you more likely to injure yourself. Loosen those hips with a few lunges instead. To make sure you stretch in every direction, like you’re the hands of a clock – go to 12, 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 o’clock a few times around before you set off.
Get that “short leg” checked. Most of us have a slightly longer leg than the other. In every day life, it doesn’t cause you too many problems, but when we put a lot more pressure through the body when we run, and if significant enough the imbalance can cause us problems. As a chiropractor I can assess it – it’s all about Symmetry after all!
JUST run. Not doing any other exercise might meant that your body is too weak to run and you’re more likely to be slow or injured. Try some weight lifting 1-2 a week or some plyometrics (posh word for lots of jumping and hopping).
Stomp your heel down. This transfers a lot of force up through the body and you’re probably taking too long steps if you do this. Try to quicken the pace you run to 180 steps per minute. Use Jogtunes for some music that’ll help you keep up the pace.
Increase by more than 10% each week. This is a good rule to stick to so you’re not over doing it! Otherwise you’re more likely to tire out those muscles, joints ad tendons and end up seeing me!