Whether its your first race of your tenth, enduraLAB is there to get you across the finish line with our world-class running program. Here is some essential advice for runners by our very own run expert, Coach Lee.
1. Fix Your Form
The key to efficient and healthy running is practicing proper run form. As runners, we take about 1,200 steps per mile when running. If there are problems with your form, the likelihood of developing a problem or suffering an injury is amplified. Stay tall, think light, and keep those feet fast.
2. Find The Right Shoe
Use a simple running shoe (flat, flexible and light) and make sure it fits right! While we don’t believe running shoes can “fix you”, shoes that don’t fit your feet correctly can lead to muscular imbalances in the body, leading to foot, knee, and hip injuries.
3. Practice Patience
Whether you’re a new runner or returning after a break, increase the quality and quantity of your runs gradually. Even when you’re feeling great, resist the urge to put a “little extra” in. That good feeling could turn into performance losses and injuries….
4. Breathe Deep, Breathe Easy
Controlling your breathing will be one of the first big obstacles to tackle. Learn to utilize your diaphragm for deeper, more valuable breaths. Breathe and relax, even during maximum effort. It’s natural to tense up, which robs from the energy your legs and heart needs.
5. Utilize The Warm Up/Cool Down
To get ready for a workout, you must increase your body temperature and get your body ready to work! We suggest a 5 to 10 minute run at an easy pace followed by progressive functional run drills. After you’ve finished your workout, resist the urge to stop immediately. Instead, walk another five minutes, perform some bodyweight exercises or work on some run form drills!
6. Get Stronger, Run Longer
Want to run faster, run longer AND reduce the risk of injury? Strong muscles, ligaments and tendons help to absorb impact forces, improve running economy and lead to faster recovery times. Your time in the gym should primarily be spent getting strong and developing clean and functional movement patterns that enhance balance, symmetry and stability.
7. Don’t Forget About Recovery
We need to balance the stresses of life and training with recovery. Your body uses easy/off days to repair muscle fibers, increase your ability to process nutrients and oxygen, build new blood cells, and eliminate waste. If you don’t give your body enough time to recover, sooner or later it will break down.
8. We Are What We Eat
No one can run away from a bad diet. Nutrition is the basis of health and physical performance. Food is a drug and its effects may be manipulated to achieve a specific goal. Intelligent fueling is an essential component to maximize athletic performance.
9. Decode Pain
Runners get “hurt”. Most injuries are musculoskeletal, meaning it’s possible to recover rapidly-just so long as you are proactive and listen to your body. Do not mask discomfort with pain medication or anti-inflammatories. Avoid repeated treatment without progress. Avoid surgery. Do not choose orthotics as a first option. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and slow down if necessary.
10. Surround yourself with the right people
You become what you do. More importantly, you become who you hang around. So choose your peers and influences wisely. Strong bonds are built on the trails and we see individuals lift each other up and work harder than if they were training alone, plus a little healthy competition can be fun and motivating!