Learn from the expert’s – here’s 5 great short cuts to rapidly improving your running performance, it’s not cheating honest! Just focus on 1 and see if it helps. From our Clinical Director, Paul.
1. The HOKA Difference: I regularly and happily recommend HOKA trainers to all my patients that require improved shock absorption and reduced tissue loading when running. They involve marshmallow, rocking chair and bucket seat technology!
To me, a clinician, they’re a unique mash up of styles, designed to simply and easily improve your shock absorption, comfort, running gait and foot stability. They are designed with only a 4mm rise from heel-to- toe, with a slight rocker shaped sole, to help with midfoot strike and smooth propulsion. Think ‘barefoot running’ style with comfy shock absorbent trainers on. The best of both world’s! So get down to your local running store and test drive a pair today. Read more about Hoka’s here. You can read more about the importance of running footwear here.
You’ll feel 10 years younger & 20kg lighter – I know I did!
2. Heel to Buttocks: Essentially it’s about improving the efficiency of your running style, by spending as much of your energy as possible in the propulsion phase. Avoiding long strides in-front of your body and the increased ground reaction forces, in this inefficient deceleration phase of running.
It’s about switching on your large propulsion muscles (gluteals and hamstring) at the end of your long levers (legs) and pushing off optimally through your big toe. It’s easier done, then you may think, just think of the cue “heel to buttocks”. So as you jog along bring your heels up towards your buttocks, and lean your trunk forwards, be prepared to getting faster as you go!
3. Pump with the arms & the legs will follow: To improve speed for that sprint finish, if you pump fast with your arms, your legs will automatically move faster. It’s the way we’re neurologically wired for reciprocal movement and the pro’s have been using it for years.
4. Sleep Better: Ensure you get approx at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night especially in the midst of a running training programme, to allow your body to recover and achieve the full benefits of training. Walker (2017), in his book ‘Why we sleep’ explains that there is a significant increase in the risk of injury with a lack of sleep.
There is no better insurance policy to mitigate the risk of injury than sleep!
Walker also explains that If your consistently not getting adequate sleep, less than 6 hour per night, you will not gain the full benefits from a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and good nutrition. He concludes that “Sleep is one of the most sophisticated, potent and powerful – not to mention legal – performance enhancer’s everyone should be using fully”. So do yourself a favour a ensure you get – 8 hours of sleep each night!. Read more about the ‘Magic Elixir’ of sleep for runners here.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight: A shortcut to making the most of what you’ve got is to maintain a healthy weight. For middle aged, social, fun runners it is by far the biggest contributor to easily increasing speed, distance, enjoyment whilst reducing the risk of injury. An average rule is that for every 2-3 kg lost you’ll easily improve your mile pace by a minute.