The question we’ll be discussing in this article isn’t merely how to run, but how to keep running successfully. Running is perhaps one of the finest exercises ever developed, but it’s important to do it correctly if you want to avoid injury. You need to remember when learning how to run that avoiding injury is crucially important. If you are to get injured, it will interfere with your running schedule for a period that may last between weeks and months, and you certainly don’t want this.
If you’re thinking of taking up running for exercise, it’s very important that you learn how to run properly so that you don’t risk injury, and so that you can maximize the results you get from running. Even if you’re an experienced runner, you can injure yourself if you don’t have proper form; improper running techniques are especially hard on your knees and other joints. Here are some things you can do to make sure you run properly and minimize your risk of injury.
Always run with knees slightly bent
Don’t try to straighten your knee completely with every stride. Doing so may seem like proper form, but it’s not. In fact, it stresses your knees out and can make injury more possible. Run with your knees slightly bent during your entire run.
Make sure you land squarely on each foot when you step
Be sure you are “centered” on your foot every time you take a step. You should be putting your feet down just as that particular leg is moving backwards underneath your body.
Arms should be kept low
When you’re getting tired, you’ll notice that you’ll begin to lift your arms to compensate. However, for best-running posture, your arms should be loose and relaxed at your side, forearms parallel with the ground; holding your arms in this way also makes your stride more even, longer and stronger.
The movements of the arms should be in a single plane that is at right angles to the body if it’s at all possible. You remember about keeping the hands relaxed? Well, make sure that you haven’t clenched your fists all through your running routine. Keeping the body relaxed is important, and it’s amazing how many runners clench their fists while running.
Shoulders should be kept square
When you’re getting tired, you’ll notice that your shoulders will begin to slump. Nonetheless, for best form, keep your shoulders square at the same time as you keep your arms loose.
Breathe regularly and evenly
Don’t forget to breathe properly when you run. Running uses enormous reserves of energy and demands a much greater supply of oxygen than you normally take in. Now remember when you’re learning how to run that it doesn’t matter whether you’re breathing in through the nose or the mouth, but what’s important is that you take in deep breaths that will flood your blood with oxygen. So, how do you test whether your body is getting enough oxygen as you run? Well, generally speaking, if you can converse with a running partner while you’re running, your body is getting enough oxygen. But if you have problems with this, you are running too fast and using too much oxygen. You need to reduce your pace a little bit to a more manageable level and ensure that your body is getting the oxygen intake that it requires.
Keep your head up and eyes in front of you
You don’t necessarily have to rigidly focus on anything, but keep your head up and your eyes in front of you, paying enough attention to your surroundings, of course, that you don’t risk running into someone or something.
Keep it loose
One of the best advice, when it came to running, was the adage, “Run sleepy.” That doesn’t mean you run when you’re sleepy, of course, but it does mean that you get yourself into an almost meditative state, loose and easy, once you get your form down and you’re in your stride. Being rigidly hyper alert can hurt your running (assuming, of course, you’ve got your basic form and stride down). Once you’re in your zone, feel free to “let go a little bit,” and simply focus on the rhythm of your stride and breath. You’ll find that you run easier and freer if you do so.