Running is the motion of the body to move forward rapidly by foot. There is a point in time that one will run fast enough that both feet will not be touching the ground. It is an artform that not many seem to realize. So what is the art of running and how do we achieve the perfect form?
For running, there are 4 basic principles that one should remember at all times and these are to eat, train and rest. Repeating these three principles will allow a beginner runner to go farther and reach better times and better distances. How exactly should a runner do these 4 core things?
Eat – What to Eat and What Not to Eat
Although food is subject to preferences, there are a few things that a runner should consider to ensure that they are running in their top form. Efficiency is key and performance is best achieved through a proper diet. Runners typically need energy to get through long marathons, quick sprints and changes in the weather during such events. Because of these factors, many runners consider their diets more thoroughly so that their bodies can easily adapt to different situations.
A runner’s diet consists of a good amount of carbs, protein and vegetables to help round out the meals. It is recommended to plan out the food you will eat during the week and keeping a food diary helps track what your body is intaking. Runners should eat little but often but that doesn’t mean snacking away. Water is essential and should be taken generously daily. Supplements are also great at keeping your body in top form especially when a big race or run is coming up. After race meals are also just as important as these will help refuel your body for the next run.
Train – Cross Training to Build Strength
It is important to fully train your body when it comes to running. Just because you put in the hours to just running doesn’t mean it will help with your overall improvement and performance. Cross Training is a great way to build the strength that is necessary for your body to perform well. There are many different ways for you to train but the main point is to make sure that you give your whole body enough action to reduce the risks of injury.
Runners should do a lot of stretching which makes yoga a best cross training activity. Stretching will help the body ease out the tension in the muscles and will also help relax and calm the mind. HIIT or High Intensity Training is also a great way to train the other muscles in your body and will help strengthen you as a whole. Gear up properly during these sessions by wearing the right gear depending on the training you are meant to be doing. If these types of extra exercise is not your thing, then try out different progressive training plans that will help you gradually reach your racing peak. These can range from easy runs, repetition workouts, interval training and tempo training.
The Alexander Technique is a known body movement technique in a more relaxed and comfortable way. It helps the person identify and lose the bad habits that have been built up over time. This technique was devised by Frederick Matthias Alexander who is an actor that had developed chronic laryngitis whenever he performed. He found out the excess tension in his neck and body were the cause for his problems.
The basic principles of the Alexander Technique were more focused on reducing stress and tension which is a great technique to include when doing strenuous activities like exercising and running.
This technique will help any runner to rest properly without feeling like they aren’t doing anything. However, learning when to take a break is just as important as any. Giving your muscles the time to rest actually helps reduce the risk of major injuries. Give your body time to recover especially after major events and races.
Many runners run not just for the health benefits but also for the thrill of the race. Running will literally get your heart pumping but crossing that finish line helps give you that sense of achievement like no other. Stick to a good plan to ensure that your running streak won’t stop anytime soon.