Running and jogging offers many benefits for the body that start with improve cardiovascular health, toning the muscles, and extending your endurance. Running is also a very popular form of exercise and all you really need is a good pair of running shoes and comfortable sweats or exercise clothing and you are off.
However, there are certain techniques that you will need to know to get the most out of your efforts. Here are a few running techniques for beginners that will help you improve your form, extend your endurance, and help prevent certain injuries from occurring.
It’s All About Form
You need to think in terms of how you are running and not so much how fast you are going when getting started. This means focusing on your form so that you are running in a smooth, easy motion that does not waste energy. For beginners, you will need to start slowly and work on building up to a proper cadence and stride motion. Going too fast, too early may result in injuries which will really slow you down. So, work on the proper form and the rest will follow.
Before you run, you must stretch out the leg muscles properly or you will not have full mobility. Being mobile is important because it decreases the chances for injury and allows you to run more efficiently. Walk around a bit and start stretching without bouncing so that your muscles can properly warm up which allows you to improve your overall running performance.
Running is an activity that requires your lower and upper body to work together in going forward. The more your upper body is twisting and turning against your hips and legs, the more energy you are expending. Your arm movements should be in a relatively straight line going back and forth as if you are reaching into your back pocket so when they go forward they are not crossing your body.
Eliminate Heel Striking
One detriment to wearing comfortable running shoes is the tendency for beginners to let their heels strike the pavement when pulling their foot back. An easy way to correct this is to initially run barefoot over softer ground where you don’t strike your heels and then mimicking that effort when you run with your shoes on. Not only do you protect your heels, you run with greater efficiency which means putting in less effort to cover the same distance.
Correcting Chicken Wings
When you start to get tired, your shoulders will pull up and your arms will broaden out to create the illusion of chicken wings. When this occurs, you will need to relax your shoulders and let your arms swing loosely for about 30 seconds. This will release the tension in your shoulder muscles and allow you to continue for a longer period.
Remember not to overexert yourself when starting up with this form of exercise. By employing the proper running techniques for beginners, you can prevent certain injuries and extend your endurance so you can get the most out of this wonderful exercise.