I already know what you’re thinking: there’s no right way to run! While that is sort of true—running is running, and if you’re doing that rather than sitting at home, you’re already ahead of the curve. However, there is a way to run that decreases your chances of injury and increases your ability to stick with a running program.
Improve your next run using these tips:
Focus on Posture
- Relatively straight back (like if you’re sitting) while leaning slightly forward from the toes up—not the hips
- Point toes forward
- Land on your midfoot, not your forefoot, to avoid calf strain and Achilles injuries
- Focus on maintaining quick and light strides
Perfect Your Running Cadence
Aim for a cadence of 180. Use these songs from running blogger Lady Southpaw to stay at the right pace
Focus on Your Whole Body
Your legs are doing a lot of work, but the rest of your body needs to be in rhythm for a successful run. Some important areas to note are:
Arms: They should rest at your sides, elbows at a 90-degree angle. They should naturally swing front to back, but avoid side-to-side movements, which will only further exhaust you.
Breathing: Keep your breathing calm; almost meditative. You’ll fall into a rhythm, making it easier to push through a long or especially tough run.
Don’t just run 5 miles on your first trip out. Take your time increasing mileage to avoid hurting yourself and burning out, both of which are two of the most common reasons for giving up on a running program.
Aim to increase your distance by 10 percent once a week or once every other week. This helps your body adjust while building muscle and mental strength.
Practice Safe Night Running
No time to run during the day? No problem, but be careful running at night by yourself. Prep yourself with the right gear like a headlamp and keep only one ear bud in at a time if you listen to music. The same goes for running early in the morning.
To stay extra safe, bring a friend with you. There’s strength in numbers, even if there’s only two of you.
Every runner knows, to run right it has to be fun at least some of the time. Allow yourself to struggle, have slow days or take some time off. The easier you are on yourself the more you’ll love it.