As the temperature starts to rise, although very slowly, the prospect of running outside starts to look a little more tempting. Now is the perfect time to dust off your running shoes and get ready to head back out there. Whether you’ve been running for years, or just a beginner, it’s important to look at how you run; your form, your ability level, and your running attire. All of these things can help you avoid injury, and make running easier and more enjoyable. However, it’s important that you don’t suddenly change your running technique, because you will set yourself up for injury. Slowly ease your body into a different way of moving.
One of the most important things to look at is your posture. Make sure you don’t lean forward as you run, even if your shoulders are tired. Keeping your back straight and your head tall will help to avoid injury and also work your core muscles as you run.
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Running can wreak havoc on your knees if you don’t get your technique right; it is the most common injury runners’ experience. The constant impact on the knee can weaken the muscles surrounding it and lead to long-lasting damage. There are many factors that come into play, but one of the main ones is looking at where your foot falls as you run. Those who land on their heel experience greater impact shock, while mid-foot strikers provide the knee with a bit more support. It is also important to make sure the foot lands under the knee, not in front of it, as this can lead to injury.
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Whether you are a fast or leisurely runner, the length of your stride should always be short and quick. Never try to reach your foot forward or lengthen your stride. This won’t make you go quicker, it will only throw your hips and knees out of line and lead to injury. It is also important to relax your arms and hands, as crossing them over or swinging them too high can throw your gait off.
It can be difficult remembering all of these things once you’re running, particularly because everyone runs differently and not all forms are the same. Just be aware of how your body is moving, whether you notice any pain, and whether slight adjustments to your running technique decreases strain and improves the mobility and speed of your body.
At the end of the day, it is also important to make sure you are wearing the right gear as well. Running clothes that support and protect you are a great investment, and may even help save your life. Check out our running accessories for more information.