3 Tips To Make Your Running More Efficient
Sarah Whiteley | November 8, 2022
Do you feel sluggish when you run?
Are you prone to getting injuries or niggles?
Now is the time to do something about it!
Is there something about the way you run that’s holding you back?
Maybe you want to run further…. Maybe you want to run faster… Or maybe you want to run without feeling pain the next day?
This blog will help you understand common mistakes when running, why YOU might not be running to your full potential AND what you can do to run to your best ability.
Common mistakes when running
When it comes to running we are all guilty of trying to push ourselves further… it may be that you want to increase your distance….. beat your recent time or even be able to run up that one hill that you’ve been working on for weeks now.
When it comes to pushing yourself further your body has to work harder. As you know it can take time to train your body to get to your end goal. It doesn’t happen overnight.
One common mistake is pushing yourself too far too fast. In other words, doing too much sooner than your body is ready. This can often result in overuse injuries, common in areas like the knees, ankle or hip.
If we do not put the correct steps in place to address these issues and continue exercising the body will alter the way we move to take the pressure off the area that may have been giving you pain.
This is not a conscious effort, the body will do this without thinking about it.
If this movement pattern continues and we do not put the correct steps in place to address this, the issue can result in pain elsewhere.
Another common mistake that we see is relying too much on the thigh muscles to control how we push off and how we land.
If we rely on these muscles over time they become tired and stiff. This reduces the amount of movement we then have through joints.
This is a common presentation in runners presenting with knee pain.
Reasons why you might not be running to your full potential
You may be being held back from running to your full potential because your body is not moving and distributing load as efficiently as it should be. This can be a result of many things.
One being previous injuries, as mentioned if you have any previous injuries the body will adapt to continue to running.
Another reason could be because you are not getting enough rest between sessions, so muscles are tired and rely more on other parts of the body.
Addressing these problems will encourage your body to move efficiently, and will allow you to focus more on RUNNING for a longer period of time.
If you manage a problem short term it will only result in the problem returning once your body becomes tired or overwhelmed.
What can you do to run to your full potential
We all know how important it is to be able to hit your goal, especially if you have been working on this for some time.
As we mentioned before, you need to slowly build up your training to allow your body to get used to the demand of exercise to then progress further. This will in turn reduce your risk of injury.
The same applies when you have an injury that may be holding you back.
Here are some top tips to consider when it comes to running that extra mile.
1- Address any previous or current injuries. Don’t rely on DR GOOGLE to give you the answers. Speak with a medical professional that will find the route cause of the problem and provide you with the best advice to get back to your end goal. This includes identifying what areas of the body are NOT tolerating enough load and other areas that might be working harder as a result of this.
2- As a runner we need to be able to perform two things well. These include being able to accelerate and be able to decelerate. If we prioritize loading the quad muscles more you will notice the knee bending as you do this, this will over time put a lot of pressure on the knee. Instead what we want to be able to do is load more efficiently, use the knee the hip and the ankle TOGETHER to allow for more power and a more controlled deceleration. This can often come from working on loading the calf whilst trying to hold a co contraction (slight bend) at the knee.
3- Do not rush the process. This tip applies both to slowly exposing your body to higher levels of load (running fast or for longer periods), and also progressing through your rehab. If you had an injury ideally half way through your rehab we want you to be pain free… I’m sure you’re thinking “well why carry on with rehab?” So the reason for continuing for rehab after being pain free is to expose the body and the nervous system to higher levels of load, so that when you return to running your body isn’t going to be “shocked” and therefore return to its default way of moving which was giving you pain in the first instance.
Need More Help?
If you are a keen runner and you want to continue to maintain the progress you have made to now OR you want to run the extra mile and increase your speed then find out what might be holding you back, what things you can do to improve your performance and why these things might be happening.
Call us on 01484 443173 or click on the link below to book your appointment with one of our therapists now!