I’ve been doing some research in to running technique. I’ve decided I want to work smarter in 2013 instead of working harder. In fact, I’m making it my New Year’s Resolution. I plan on finding the best ways to make the most of my workout time. Today I went out for a run and decided to try out a new running technique I saw in some YouTube videos. In fact, let me pass this video along to you.
In this video you see one runner, two weeks apart. On the left she is striking down on her heel and on the right you see her striking with her foot coming down flat. You will also notice that when she lands her foot flat she brings the opposing foot up much higher than she did in the video on the left. With a slight forward lean and good posture she uses gravity to push her forward. The technique on the right is more efficient because she limits the time her foot is on the ground. Also, from what I understand, when you strike with your heel you slow yourself down slightly before you pull yourself forward. The more efficient way is to land with your foot flat, without stretching it out in front of you so that you push yourself forward instead of pulling. This also cuts down on risk of injury.
So how did this work out for me? I improved my distance by about 25% over Tuesday’s run. In fact, my legs felt as if they could go a lot further but my lungs are not yet acclimated to running this far. I have no doubt I can improve my performance a lot quicker than I have in the past. My biggest barrier is waiting for my lungs to build up their capacity.
When I was running before I would use an app to give me cues as to when I should run and when I should walk. I’ve decided to map all my runs ahead of time and shoot for distance instead. My favorite website for mapping my runs is RunningMap.com. I like it mostly because it isn’t overloaded with menus and the need to sign in first. I keep an eye on the approximate time it takes me to run certain distances and then put the information in to Wolfram|Alpha to calculate my speed. I seem to be running my first leg at about 6.5 mph. This is quite an improvement for me. Less effort (leg wise) is translating in to faster speeds aka traveling further in the same amount of time. It’s all about efficiency.
I will say, however, this technique doesn’t make running so easy that I don’t have to worry about drinking enough water or eating properly. Proper hydration and nutrition will always be essential.
Admittedly, I’ve never been a strong runner but thankfully, with proper technique, I can become strong.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions and how are you working to accomplish them?