Perhaps you are a veteran runner who is one medal away from the World Marathon Majors, or a casual runner who enjoys a comfortable pace on a Saturday Parkrun, Regardless, have you ever wondered how to optimise your running to minimise the risk of injuries and enhance your performance? The chances are you can level up your running with these tips, and run pain and injury free.
Running is a form of physical activity that is repetitive in nature. The chance of suffering from running injuries is quite high if the techniques are not optimised. Poor techniques can lead to muscle fatigue which then leads to a myriad of other issues.
Muscle fatigue leads to changes in:
reduced active stiffness in the muscles/tendons to stabilize joints and absorb impact
reduced power from muscle contraction, affecting performance
reduced cadence* leading to overstriding.
* Cadence is the number of steps taken in a minute.
Key characteristics seen in optimal running vs. poor running
Figure 1. Showing different types of foot placement and strikes during running
If you ticked most of the green boxes above, then you are off to a great start! Remember, it is never too late to start implementing the right techniques into your run. A good starting point is to modify one component of your technique at a time.
For example, if you notice landing with your foot too far forward and swinging your arms sluggishly, try to focus on one of the two things. Once you have fixed your foot placement and are able to keep it consistently, then move on to the arm swings.
Hopefully, this blog has helped and guided many of our amateurs or professional runners to achieve a more pain-free run, and perhaps even break their own personal records!