In my previous article, I wrote about why you should start running this year. I received a lot of feedback and questions which was great, so I thought I would expand on the running topic some more.
I like to find the positives in situations and in the current lockdown climate, it can be difficult to find reasons to smile. For me personally I have always enjoyed running and have encouraged my friends, family and clients to try it. Seeing more runners around the town has been so refreshing and I genuinely smile whenever I see a runner no matter how fast or slow they are. The fact they have decided to find the time, get the gear and get out there is a truly wonderful feat.
Now if you’re reading this and you are a runner, there are a few things I must ask of you.
Firstly and probably most importantly, smile. Trust me on this, there is science behind what a smile will do for you. Research has shown that runners who smile use less oxygen, run more economically and had a lower perceived rate of exertion than those who frown. Next time you are out and pass a fellow runner, walker, biker be that person who smiles, nods, waves. You never know, you could be the happiest part of their day!
With the current national lockdown, you may feel as if you’re not going anywhere. Not moving forward nor backwards. No holidays, parties or celebrations to look forward to. Running itself is a series of bounds in a forward moving direction. The act of running gives you a sense of completing something, no matter how short, long, fast or slow, it will leave you feeling accomplished.
If your goal is to run faster or break a distance PB, I have a few short top tips for you to consider on your next venture:
1. Run on flat terrain. Pick a route that isn’t too hilly if you’re going for timed PB’s. In fact, try and repeat the same route you achieved your previous PB on so you get a better comparison.
2. Run smooth. When Eliud Kipcoche ran 26.2 miles in 1:59:40, the track he completed this on was specifically designed in Vienna to be completely flat, the altitude was 540 feet above sea level and it wasn’t too cold or hot. Try to run on roads where possible (into traffic, safely of course) as pavements tend to have grooves that will affect your stride and levels of muscular fatigue.
3. Get stronger. The strength of contraction and ability to decelerate will have a huge impact on your running levels and ability to recover between runs. Exercises that mimic running such as lunges, hops and single leg balancing are just a few that will improve your running strength.
If you need an extra push of motivation, Body & Mind Physiotherapy and I have set up a fundraiser, with the aim of jointly completing 1,000km by either running, walking, wheeling or cycling between Monday 8th February and Sunday 14th February. Our aim is to raise £1,000 to go towards thanking the Petersfield Community Hospital NHS staff for their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic.
We have a group on Facebook called ‘Petersfield Running Community NHS Fund Raiser’, so please join in and share with your friends and family to take part and donate to a brilliant cause!