I love to run, but I can’t run far and it’s something I want to get better at.
I’d love to be able to chuck on a pair of sneakers, open my front door, and just run forever – it’s the best way to get sweaty especially in the fresh air. It’s mind-clearing and brings out the best emotions!
With the launch of the new Nike LunarEpic Flyknit, I thought it would be a great opportunity to chat with Sydney’s Head Running Nike Coach, Sam Strutt, about how us amateurs can improve our running!
What are the most common errors novice runners make that are holding them back?
It’s not going to be easy or pretty, but getting out there and running is the best thing you can do to improve your running. You won’t see an improvement if you are getting out there once every few weeks. You’ve decided to start running so get out there and run!
Celebrate every win
One of the Nike+ Run Club philosophies is “Every day better”, and as a coach, this is something I try to impart on all of my athletes. Set a goal to go to bed a better version of yourself. That’s it – just get better. If you are trying to get up running 5km without stopping, but find yourself needing a break at the same spot every time, think “every day better”. Then add another 200 metres or run another minute when you feel like stopping next time. You should be proud of any improvement, no matter how small.
Try running with a friend to make it social and fun – a friend will keep you accountable; getting out of bed in the dark for a run is a bit easier when you know someone else is counting on you. I use running as my social time in between work and coaching – it’s my time to catch up with mates.
What are 20% of the form/techniques that result in 80% of improvements and efficiency?
There are small things you can do that can improve your efficiency and make running that little bit easier:
Use your core
Your core will help minimise side-to-side movement making you more efficient and help drive your knees up for speed.
This will help you to breathe easily and engage your core.
Land under your hips
If you are over-striding, meaning your feet are landing out in front of you, your feet are actually acting as a brake. Landing directly under your hips will help propel you forward.
Relax your hands
Tensing your fists will cause tension in your whole upper body. Stay relaxed and imagine you are holding an egg. Close your fists, but relax so the egg doesn’t break.
What are the essential tools and equipment every runner needs?
I always have my foam roller and other massage tools handy. Muscle tension is super important for running and these tools will help keep your muscles at an optimum tightness to avoid injury and avoid losing essential power from your run.
Make sure you are in the right gear – Nike Running shoes and apparel are designed to support your body’s temperature regulation and movement specific to running. When you choose shoes, make sure they are comfortable first and foremost.
Track your progress with a watch or an app. Nike+ Running is free and compatible with most devices and allows you to track your progress easily, share with friends, and set up training plans to reach goals like a half marathon.
Many thanks to Sam for giving us awesome advice on how to make running a bit easier! Note to self: I’m literally going to run with an egg since I always tense my fists! Jokes – not really but I’ll definitely imagine that I have one ? Get running my workout buddies ?
SWEAT. MOVE. SMILE. #TheHarperMovement
Article by Mon – M.B Harper
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