The Best Running TipsQ: I noticed that running is one of those sports that really does require some balance. Once I get into the rhythm of running it is a piece of cake. But, I find sometimes when I'm starting out that my balance can be off. What is this and how can I fix it?
A: Sometimes it has to do with the need to strengthen you abdominal and back muscles, this helps to keep your body upright. Check to see if you are following a good posture when you run.
A good rule of thumb is to stay upright and try to land on the front part of your foot rather than the heels. Heel planting will cause injury and prevent you from experiencing the natural flex the foot has for rebounding you forward. You will actually tire earlier, and this could prevent you from successfully furthering yourself in the program.
Gentle stretches are important so that you can restore your range of motion and comfortably relax your muscles. Remember to do stretches before and after your run.
Q: I have a problem with my knee clicking after my run. What is this?
A: If it is clicking, it could be caused by the muscle moving the joint. When we run, are muscles can get tight and if we don't stretch properly we can have the muscles pulling the joint out of it's alignment. This would cause clicking. Be sure to do gentle stretches so that you loosen up the muscles and hence make you more flexible. If you feel this while running stop and do some light stretches that don't pull or put force on the joints.
Q: My head feels like it is going to explode when I run, how do I stop this?!
A: This is a good question, because a lot of people when they first start to run have this problem. It means you are doing too much. In other words you are going too fast, too soon. Slow your pace down so that you feel comfortable. Even if the pace is just a step up from walking fast, you are still running. You will improve in the program better if you stick to 'slow'. I know it's hard to do that! You have never run like this before...This is not like running across the street to catch the bus, it is about running and feeling comfortable...Then after feeling the benefits of your run. Once you slow down, your run/walk program will feel good during and after.
Q: How many breaths am I suppose to take per step?
A: I like this question. I'm just going to say for right now, it doesn't matter! You are just learning to get this thing down. All you want to concentrate on is doing a run/walk that is comfortable for you. Once you do get further on into the program you will maybe want to look at how many breaths/step. For now go and have fun and stop your mind from thinking so much! Enjoy your run, because running is not about worrying!
These were great common questions, there are many more I will bring to you later. The answers I hope will not only help the person who asked them, but others who have the same questions.
A tip on a good stretch and strengthening for the abdomen and back:
- stand with legs shoulder length apart
- extend arms out in front and bending at the elbows
- drop your arms as if you were to rock a baby
- hands are about 6 inches apart
- now start rocking the baby slowly to the left with your shoulder raised slightly
- rock your baby all the way so that your elbow points to the ceiling
- repeat on the other side holding the rocking form
- this is to a count of 1
- do 6-12 repetitions