ACTUALLY, WE ARE ALL RUNNERS.
Some of us may have done multiple marathons and some of us may just be looking to finish our first 5K, but all of us were born with a unique physiology that requires movement and is well equipped for running. Now some of us certainly enjoy it more than others, but running is a human instinct that has been a part of our evolution for millions of years.
RUN FASTER. RUN LONGER, #RUNBETTER
Now that we’ve established that you are indeed a runner, we can move on to identifying your specific goal. At NCFIT, we never settle, and neither should you. What is your specific running goal you want to aim for? Do you want to run further? Do you want to run faster? Or do you just want to be more comfortable on your feet and become a more proficient runner so that it helps you improve your overall level of fitness? Regardless of how you answer that question, here are some useful tips to help you #RUNBETTER so that you can #LIVEBETTER.
01. BE A STRONG RUNNER
Regardless of whether you want to run faster or run longer, consistent strength training will be key as you set out to reach your running goals. Running is an incredibly repetitive motion. Even on a 1 mile run, you will take over 1,500 steps. Think of that as 1,500 reps that are working out certain muscles and joints, while neglecting others. By incorporating a regular dose of multi-joint lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and presses, you’ll have more balance in your training and build a strong structure to better withstand the repetition of running. How much strength training is dependent on your volume and goals, but NCFIT’s NCX track 2-3 times a week is a great place to start!
02. RECOVER TO #RUNBETTER
So back to those 1,500 reps per mile you are doing.... RUNNING IS NOT RESTING. As you look to incorporate more running into your regular training schedule or you are primarily a runner incorporating strength training into your running routine, BE MINDFUL OF YOUR VOLUME. If you are already training 5-6 days a week, adding in a running day in place of your regular rest day is a significant increase in training volume. Start by REPLACING a traditional training day with some running first. See how your body reacts, and then adjust accordingly.
02. RELAX, BREATHE, CONNECT, RUN
Unless you are sprinting, you'll perform and feel better when you run if you are able to relax. Your upper body, neck, face should all be conserving as much energy as possible. The “pain face” may make for some great pictures during your lifting days, but on your runs, it is nothing but wasted energy. Think of holding a potato chip you don’t want to crush in your fingers while you run. This will help relax your upper body. Every now and then, warm up with some nasal breathing jogging. This will regulate your pace and signal your nervous system to relax as well. If you can access grass or sand, go for a barefoot jog as a cool down after a run. Connect with the ground, work on being light on your feet, and down regulate your body after your run workout.
Every run you do does not have to be a race against the clock. Sometimes, it can be just the right dose of movement your body needs to get a win today, in order to #LIVEBETTER tomorrow.
Gabe Yanez is a competitive triathlete, former collegiate runner and swimmer, as well as a trainer with over 10 years of experience. He sits on the HQ Team as the Director of Sales and Marketing for NCFIT.