You would think that the only to know about running is just to put one leg over the other and just do it faster and repeat. It is interesting to note that we weren’t born running, nor were we born to walk. But walking we learned by ourselves and by looking at other people. Running was the same. Some people had the advantage of practicing it more frequently, as they were growing up. But essentially, we are Physically and Biologically built to run. All animals with two legs can run significantly fast.
The best way to run is probably the way that you find most comfortable. Different people and different body types may use different techniques. If we run enough, we would probably find the right technique for ourselves. But if you want to find out more about better running techniques then it would pay to read up a bit.
The first technique I found was Chirunning technique. The founder was inspired by the Total Immersion Technique for Swimming, and decided it could be done for running. The idea is to use the available energy around us as well within us to run. It’s main objective is to run as comfortable as possible for a long time, if not forever. You can probably get enough information from their website, but you can read more about it from the chirunning book.
Another method I learned was the POSE technique. It is usually practiced by Interval runners or Crossfit runners. I read about it from the four hour body. The main objective is to transfer your strength and speed effectively through your legs. There are a lot of resource on the POSE method. You can get the book to find out more.
Both techniques have their similarities. Chirunning focuses more on endurance and comfort, while POSE method focuses on effective uses of strength and speed. Chirunning is more on volume, and POSE is more on speed.
An addition, to these methods, I have taken up Barefoot running, the chirunning was helpful in the beginning ensuring a safe transition from shod (Shode? shoed?) running to barefoot running. the POSE method was a bit challenging barefoot, and a few times had blisters. but as I practiced, I found ways to adapt. One of the things that I really got to focus on was how my feet landed onto the ground. Despite the occasional blisters, my legs, my knees and calf muscles rarely ached as it had when I was running with shoes. Try at your own peril, or be safe and read a few barefoot running books to find out more.
Generally I have summed up what I learn into as follows:
- You lean forward to fall, and one leg catches you from falling. Lean further to increase speed. This essentially uses the weight of the body to give forward momentum. But do not lean by bending your back, if you feel lower back pain then you need to straighten your back.
- Your head will be looking below thehorizon. This ensures leaning forward. Also it helps to see where you are going.
- Land your feet either forefoot or flatfoot, just under centre of gravity.
- Shift weight of front leg and pick up the back leg without pushing yourself with your back leg. In POSE technique the heel will be trying to kick the ass.
- Ensure hands are not tight, relaxed but still straightened wrist,
- Keep elbow 90 degrees, and movements ensure that shoulder do not swing too much. The more the upper body swings, the more energy is used and not transferred to the forward motion.
- High Cadence of run is 80-100 bpm, with small strides. Ensures the feet spend as little time as possible with the floor. also ensuring forward motion is maintained.
- Breathing in and out through the nose, close your mouth. Causes less thirst. Although in sprints runners often breath in nose, breath out through mouth. Short distances can be forgiven, but long distance you may need to conserve your water.
- Focus on:-
- where you are running
- your movement or technique
- Your breathing and your steps
- Focus your cadence and your pace
- How your body feels through the run.
- Maintain aerobic pace
When done right will:
- Reduced tightness of the calf muscle
- Relatively easy to climb a hill
- help recovery while running fast downhill
- Reduce injury
These are what I got from my research and practice, you may find your own methods from your own. Good luck trying.
After this I will write an article on Training Technique to increase speed and stamina so you can run faster and further.