Flexibility is important to have in all soft tissues, these include muscles, tendons and ligaments. When these have limited flexibility your joints will have limited range of movement (ROM), which can lead to bad running and walking biomechanics. So make sure stretching is in your regime for any sport, even if you are not one for exercise we recommend spending time stretching muscles out to help prevent injury and loss of ROM in daily life.
Posture is the way in which you hold yourself, when it comes to running this is key! Many consider good posture to be those with spines that are neutral and do not require the muscles to strain to maintain this. Poor posture can lead to severe muscle imbalances and leads to poor circulation to muscles, leading to less oxygen uptake which is vital in endurance sports.
It is important to make sure stride length is not too wide, this may make sense as it allows further distance with less strides, however it can lead to injuries to the knee and hamstring. A long stride will also cause the natural bend in the knee to be lessened which will lead to more force travelling through the knee joint.
Try to maintain a steady pace and maintain a good stride length, you want to be able to produce enough force to propel your body forward without having to use excess force to produce this you must be landing with the heel and coming off from the toe, this motion allows a perfect method of thrust without as much as force.
It is important when running that you listen to your body, if you are feeling twinges or clicks it would be better to stop and assess the situation instead of attempting to struggle through. Injuries that may take a few days to heal can become injuries that take 6months to a year to heal because people decide to train on them.
It is important to keep focus in running, when we run for long periods our running biomechanics changes due to a combination of physical fatigue and mental fatigue. Now dealing with physical fatigue is difficult if you’re determined to continue your run, however when we lose mental focus are technique changes and can become dangerous, leading to injury. Injuries in football games occur predominantly in the first 10minutes (inadequate warm up) and last 10minutes (physical and mental fatigue). If your body is getting tired allow your mind to stay focused to try and maintain good running technique.
It is important to allow your upper body and lower body to work in tandem, this co-ordination is great for good running technique, it allows good oxygen uptake and works the muscles in a way that there is development in all muscles.
One of the most important aspects when running is to remember to breathe correctly, this is also one of the first techniques to go when mental fatigue kicks in. Try and take breaths in a controlled manner, maybe count the breaths you are taking a minute and try and stick to a good rhythm, before long you will get into the habit of good breathing for your running style. Oxygen is key in keeping your body fueled throughout your run, so make sure you are taking the stuff in!
Getting fired up for a sprint or race is great, but when it comes to endurance relaxation is your friend. You want to run with your muscles as loose as possible, and you can do all the massages and stretching you want but as soon as your mind starts to come out of relaxation your muscles will start to tense again.
By. Chris Collins