The great thing about running is that just about anyone can do it. No special equipment or specialized training is needed. You just go out your front door and run. While there aren’t any special pieces of equipment or previous training you’ll need, there are a few things you can do to build your proper foundation. Once you perfect your form, runs are much more enjoyable, efficient and goal-oriented.
Proper running posture does not come naturally to many people. It is something you may have to focus on in the beginning. My running coach has pounded into my head, “Hips forward, shoulders back. Arms are loose, now run relaxed.” These tips allow for proper breathing, the most efficient use of your muscles, and the reduction of possible pain and injury.
Pick up your feet when you run. This skill is uncomfortable at first. But if you build the muscles required to do this, it will help you on longer runs when you start to get tired. If you drag your feet, you will slow down. This increases the chance of injury. Take a break by slowing down or walking, but then make a mental note to work on lifting those legs!
How do you know if you’re running too fast? Check your breathing! You should be able to speak in short sentences when running at the proper pace. Yes, in speed training this doesn’t exactly apply. But when on your long distance runs, focus on breathing calmly, deeply and slowly.
If you can focus on these three things when you start running, they will eventually become second nature. This skill will supply a great foundation as a strong and efficient runner. And the best part is proper form, combined with smart training, will eventually make you faster.