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A good gait develops over time and if you are relatively new to running, your gait might not be all that economical as yet. Every person has their own style of running or "Gait" and if you are not suffering from a lower body injury, there is no cause for alarm. Adjusting your running style to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury will come with some muscle soreness that lasts for about a week while the muscles adjust to the change in position or movement. However forcing a proper running gait on you that does not feel natural for your particular body can cause new problems. The...
A quick gait evaluation at a shoe store or down at the beach on the wet sand at low tide can show you a lot about your running mechanics. Look for: foot placement, a cross-over gait pattern and uneven loading. An abnormal gait can be caused by your foot wear or from Sun Run training on irregular terrain and canted roads. Improvements in this case can be achieved through careful shoe selection, orthotics, lifts and attention to training. Careful shoe selection is often the leading factor between an injury and pain free running. An abnormal gait can also be caused by anatomical structural...
Sport Medicine. A recent question was asked about ongoing shortness of breath with training. While often this simply reflects fitness level it is VERY important to be aware that exercise can be the first way that a medical condition becomes symptomatic. This is because exercise is a stress on the body. Usually a good stress, but if there is a hidden disease process it may become symptomatic for the first time when you exercise. For example, ongoing shortness of breath can be a symptom of asthma, heart disease, anemia or a hormonal imbalance. So, if the symptom persists you should see your...
To evaluate your running form, ask someone in your Sun Run running group to "check you out." Ask them to look and point out anything that they notice about your posture and arm swing. If you find something that is an easy fix, try it. It may take a while to adjust to the change and if it feel better, great! Sometimes a different view and a little attention to your running form can be just the tweak you need. Upper back tension starts with the head position, keeping your head straight and looking forward will help relax the shoulders. Pinching your shoulders back will cause the shoulder blades...
Is that YOU? MOST of your walking or running should be completed at a nice comfortable talking pace unless you are doing change-of-pace intervals requiring you to move briskly for various intervals. If you are huffin' and puffin' beyond being able to string a few sentences together, then be kind to yourself and SLOW DOWN. If your body is screaming at you to stop because something hurts or you feel terribly sluggish, then you too are likely moving too fast for yourself, and the impact is not agreeing with you. Make sure your shoes are still in good shape, and try a softer surface to relieve...
How do you know you are running the perfect pace up hill, down hill or on the flat during every minute of every training run? Below is the pacing secret of elite runners. A simple trick for your to try to ensure that you are in the "aerobic zone" (where most of your training should be) AND maintaining good running/jogging technique is to take 3-4 steps every breath in and 3-4 steps every breath out. This is called a breathing rhythm - in this case a 3-3 or 4-4 pattern depending on whether or not you are taking 3 or 4 steps every breath in AND another 3-4 steps every breath out. This may not...
Some people like to go fast. Olympic & World Gold Medalist, COC and Canadian Hall of Famer, Robert Esmie, better known as "Mr. Blast Off" offers this advice for those who are looking to modify their Sun Run training program in the quest for speed. If I was prepping for the Sun Run and I was in good shape one month out, I would look at the blueprint of my training program and see what was working for me and what was not. With a few weeks of hard work remaining before tapering off for the race there are a couple of things that could enhance your outcome. Body dynamics such as breathing,...
I wanted to follow up on Lynn's excellent advice about how to relax your shoulders and upper body when running and walking. I have used her advice very successfully myself. At this point in your training program, you may find that your shoulders are up around your ears especially at the end of a run. I know that in the highest mileage weeks that my legs start to ask for help from my upper body. The primary driving force for forward propulsion should be you gluteal (butt) muscles with your quadriceps (front thigh) and calf muscles providing more of the lift so that you don't run yourself into...
A few postural tweaks can have an amazing effect on short bursts of speed and long range resilience on the flats. Ray Zahab a highly decorated Ultra foot racer says, most people have developed the bad habits of putting their heads down to grind it out when they are tired and stride out when they want to go fast. Posture wise, when you hunch over you are directing your weight downward instead of forward. And when you lunge out and land on your heels you are throwing your weight back behind you. Zahab's technique builds on the forward lean and flat-footed landing of "Chi" a style developed in...
IF YOU’RE HAVING A TIRED DAY, SOMETIMES IT HELPS TO JUST STOP AND STRETCH FOR A MINUTE OR TWO DURING YOUR WALK OR RUN… Sometimes it can simply be a tough day: the body feels tired and the legs feel heavy, or just don’t want to find a rhythm that feels good. It happens to me too (more often now than it used to!) If it’s a struggle at any time during your workout, I find that sometimes it helps to stop wherever you are, take a few long slow breaths accompanied by some easy stretches, and start up again. The breathing and stretches calm the system. It may be all you need to “find your legs” and...

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