Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

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5 top tips to help you run for Gold


Well, the Olympics are over for another 4 years – though of course, there’s still the Paralympics to look forward to.  In the wake of all that achievement, many of us will be inspired to take up a new sport; and let’s face it, running has got to be one of the easiest to take up in terms of equipment and location.  All you need is a good pair of trainers and you’re ready to go!

But it’s a huge step (or rather, lots and lots and lots of steps!) from getting involved in the fantastic Couch-to-5Km scheme to being the next Mo Farah.  If you want to really get involved with running, technique is key.  So how do athletes like Mo set themselves apart from those of us who chug a quick route at the end of the day?

Here are a few things that can help you really go the extra mile, or be that bit faster doing your chosen distance.

  1. Arm position: by having your elbows bent and carrying them comparatively high, you can increase the amount of “pump” you can generate, driving yourself on with more force

  2. Body position: keep your hips and shoulders as level as possible.  This avoids unnecessary rotation either forward and backward or side to side, reducing the chance of injury and cutting down on unnecessary energy expenditure.  Also make sure your foot only lands just in front of your centre of gravity, keeping your knee bent and the lower leg almost vertical as this is the most efficient posture.

  3. Trailing leg: kick your heel towards your bottom as your back leg leaves the floor.  This reduces the distance the leg has to travel before it takes the next stride, boosting speed and stride rate.

  4. Stance time: this is the amount of time the foot is in contact with the ground, and should be kept as brief as possible.  This means less energy is lost in damping (the use of energy to overcome friction)

  5. Landing technique: Mo Farah uses a technique called mid0foot striking, landing on the ball of his foot rather than the heel.  This reduces the impact on the leg and knees, lessening the chance of injury, and optimises stride rate.

So there you have it – how to take your running to the next level.  Remember, though, all changes should be introduced gradually to allow your body to accommodate without causing injury.  Also, a decent pair of trainers are an absolute must before you head out to pound that track.  Specialist running shops such as Up and Running in Mardol, Shrewsbury are ideal – they can analyse your gait, advising you on the right sort of trainers to suit any idiosyncrasies in your stride.  Good trainers don’t have to cost the earth, but it is worth spending a little more if it means you can run without recurrent injuries and without the negative lasting effects some runners experience (such as knackered knees!).

Go out there, enjoy yourself and get fit!

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