Are you running with the breaks on?

We’re in the first few weeks of 2017 and a large percentage of the population will decide that this year is going to be the year they’ll get fit. The first thing many us will do is pull ourselves off the couch, reach for the trainers and go out for a run. However you could be running with your breaks on which is just going to make this task harder!

Slow cadence is common among many runners for a number of reasons. What we want to make sure is that we are moving with optimal efficiency. Cadence put simply is the number of steps a runner takes per minute. When running we want to keep contact with the ground to a minimal as the more contact we have, the more force we have to apply and the quicker we will tire.

Over-striding often happens when someone has a slow cadence. This is due to reaching too far with each stride and your hips being behind your foot when it lands. It’s very hard to push off your foot effectively when it is in front of your hips. A distance runner wants the foot to land roughly under their torso with a slight bend in the knee which will act as a way of absorbing impact. If your lower leg is extended out in front of the knee, then it is likely that you’re over-striding.

How to fix this.
To improve on running technique, go through these two simple drills that act as a good warm-up too. All you need is yourself and a metronome which can be played via a computer or phone.

Drill One
Set your metronome between 170-180 BPM then go into a double footed jump. You should only just leave the floor and be quite relaxed. Once you are jumping at the same beats per minute, lean slightly forward so that you start to move across the floor. You are aiming to keep control of the pacing and the speed that you are moving at.

Drill two
Set the metronome to the BPM which felt most natural to you between that range, but instead of going into a jump, you want to lift the leg as if you were running. This isn’t a high knees out in front of you; instead, as you lift your leg, it should create a figure 4 with your legs if you were to look side on to yourself. Again go through the same process as before, start on the spot then slowly lean forward until you start to move forward under your control.

Carry these drills out over approximately 20m, walking back to the start as a recovery for a total of 3-5 sets.


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