Running — you either love it or hate it (I fall into that latter just FYI). It not only has the ability to shrink your waistline, change your body composition and give you a rush of feel-good hormone, but it’s also one of the most affordable means of exercise.
But you can also get seriously injured while running — if you’re doing it incorrectly. As simple as running may seem, failing to have proper form, shoes or striking your foot incorrectly can put you out the game for a while. That’s why it’s vital to do a few sessions with a running coach. Whether you’re a seasoned runner doing their umpteenth marathon or you’re a total newbie (like me), we can all learn a thing or two to help us become a better runner.
I had a session with Sean Tait, a running coach from Off the Mark Training, where I learnt a few tips and trick to help everyone be faster from the first step.
Get a running assessment
If you’re going to start running in a serious way, then getting a running assessment is the way to go. This will help to correct any minor niggles or running technique flaws that could develop into major problems. This will help you to correct poor habits as early as possible, making running that much more of a pleasurable experience.
Technique is everything
Your posture is key when it comes to running better and faster. Your body needs to be a straight line from your ears, shoulders and hips. Your feet also have to be directly underneath your body, Sean says that it will help to envision yourself running on the spot then allow your hips to move you forward.
When you’re running you want to keep a high turnover step. This means spending less time in contact with the ground. Your goal should be to have shorter and faster strides not long, heavy ones.
Have a plan
Much like many things in life — you need a plan. Whether it’s finding one online or chatting to a running coach, a training plan will help you make actual progress towards your goals.
Get a gait analysis
A gait analysis is a test that involves you being recorded while running. The footage allows for your foot plant, stride and running pattern to be assessed. This information can be used to help you find the right shoe and whether you have a foot issue that needs to be addressed. FYI — you can get a proper gait analysis at the RUN Store and pick up the right shoes for your feet at the same time. This brings me to my next point…
Choose the right shoe
If you have the right shoe, you can conquer the trail. You need to consider the type of terrain you’ll be running on. For example, if you’re running off-road, having shoes with built-up heels will make your footing unstable on the uneven terrain.
You’ll probably need more than one pair of the right shoe
We’re all guilty of having a fave item that we wear to death — but try to avoid doing that to your running shoes. Since your shoes will be helping you get through all kinds of weather and terrain conditions, they’ll need to be replaced frequently. The frequency at which you replace them will depend on your weight, running style and choice of terrain.
Wear running socks
I will never forget the time I did a 10k walk in normal thin socks, my feet were so sore and blistered the next day. Whenever you do, long-distance walking or running, you need to wear socks that will protect your feet. Falke Running socks have extra padding across the ball of the foot, the toes and the heel area. This helps to prevent blistering and allows for your shoe to fit more closely, giving you better arch support.