Running is often the most preferred form of exercise, the reason being its sheer simplicity. All one needs is a great pair of running shoes. Neither the use of expensive equipment is required nor does one need to undergo any special training in order to run. However, if one wishes to derive maximum benefits from this exercise or to run professionally, there are certain rules that one needs to understand. Besides, the technique of running would vary according to the purpose of the same. For instance, the technique followed for running at a marathon would not be the same as that used for a hundred meters race.
Running as an Exercise
Most of us pursue running or jogging as an exercise form to keep ourselves fit. This exercise indeed offers a complete body workout, and is a great exercise for the heart and lungs. Besides, it makes the leg muscles stronger, body leaner, and helps to increase one's overall stamina. It is also a good way of losing weight and burning fat. When the reason one runs is only fitness-based, the emphasis should be upon getting the body in shape rather than on the stop watch.
It would be better to run under a professional guidance, so as to know the proper technique, which will help one gain maximum benefits and avoid any possible injuries. Apart from coaches and professional runners, podiatrists or physiotherapists could also be approached for some tips and techniques. The most important thing to bear in mind, irrespective of the form of running is that one's heel should always hit the ground before the ball of foot. This would help avoid typical injuries such as runner's knee, shin splints, etc.
How to Run Faster
For competitive running, one ought to keep an eye on the stop watch. Professional runners should watch their stride and position while running. A video shoot taken while performing the exercise may help to study one's pace and posture. Ideally, one should keep the head lowered at an angle of 5 degrees from the torso. It is necessary to lean forward from the waist for gravity to work in favor.
While running, move the arms as fast as possible, as it would automatically make the knees work faster. As a result, one takes quicker, faster strides. This is an important tip to increase the speed. If one wishes to improve the pace, start with a three 8 minute miles a week. In the following week, increase the pace and try to beat the previous record.
Running Long Distance
If you have to run for a distance of 5 km or more, the emphasis would be shifted from pace to stamina. Whereas for short distances, it would be all about maintaining the stamina until one reaches the finish line. One can improve the stamina by running uphill every week. Running downhill also has its own benefits. One can be trained to run for long distance by gradually increasing the distance every week.
It is important to maintain consistency in the training. Since long distance training is an ultimate test of one's physical endurance, one would also have to concentrate on other important factors such as the diet. One of the most important tips for running a half marathon or marathon is that one must give the body rest in between workouts. Remember, resting is as important as working out. Also, make sure to be well hydrated throughout the distance.
In addition to the aforementioned tips and techniques, wearing the right running shoes is very important. Also, having an exercise partner would help to a great extent so as to stay motivated and achieve the desired goal.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.