4 Ways to Make Your Next Runs Effective
Find stairs or a stadium that’s open to the public and run them again and again. As with hills, the walk down is your recovery. Increase the challenge by taking a few at a time. Shadowboxing optional.
Take on Tabatas
While most speed workouts call for hard effort, Tabata training demands an all-out sprint. The idea is to go as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat that couplet eight times as hard as you can, on stairs, flats, or however else you’ve planned your workout. Newer runners should start with fewer repeats and gradually build up to the complete four-minute workout.
Don’t Wear Shoes That Are Too Comfortable
The human body works with one major premise: use it or lose it. If your support is coming from an external source, like your shoes, then the muscles designed to support the framework of the foot (i.e. the arches), will eventually fail to do their job, making the foot weaker and your body more prone to injury.
Make your form work for you.
Guilty of swinging your arms across your body when you run? “The side to side motion is wasted energy for your arms as it forces your hips to counter the motion instead of powering you in a forward motion,” says Rothstein-Bruce (who runs a 2:29 marathon, so she knows a thing or two about running efficiently). She recommends practicing seated arm drills by sitting with the legs at 90 degrees and swinging your arms back like you’re beating a drum. And when it comes to “running tall,” imagine someone is pulling you up by your hair while maintaining a slight forward lean.
“I see many runners with way too much tension in their bodies,” says Larson. As you swing your arms forward and back, it’s important to keep your shoulders relaxed and hands loose — no fist clenching allowed! Runners are often told to hold their hands as if they are holding drumsticks (to play the drums — not chicken wing drumsticks) or as if they have a fragile egg in each hand.