William Wragg, who’s completed an impressive 50 marathons in 50 days, specialises in running techniques, and has provided the runPositve community with his top tips on how to maximise your running!
1. Let gravity help you
Newton’s first law of motion states that “an object will remain at rest until acted upon by an external force”. So, as a runner, if you remain too straight without pushing, you aren’t going to create movement. But if your centre of mass (hips) is in front of your contact point (your feet,) gravity will start moving your body forward.
So by leaning forwards slightly when you run, you will reach a tipping point where your upper-body will create movement. With this technique, you can run whilst relaxing your body.
2. Relax your feet
Relax your feet when you run. Think about it like this; if a ball is filled with air and you drop the ball, it will bounce higher than a ball half-filled with air. So if your feet are tense, they will not absorb the pressures from running effectively, so these forces will ride up to your knees and hips causing injury. Relaxing your feet optimises the absorption of your arches, and can also stave off shin splints and lower-body injuries dramatically.
3. Plant your feet behind the hips
When people plant their feet, it’s important not to heel strike. I would advise to make your feet land slightly behind your hips – literally by a centimetre or two. This will help you land in the correct area of your foot, and reduce time in contact with the ground, which reduces the pressure through the body, and thus the chances of injury.
4. Level through the hips
Do not bend at the hips or stick out your bottom. The key to preventing these postural weaknesses is having a strong core. If we stay straight through our hips as we run, we will increase blood flow to our muscles and connective tissues, and as well preventing muscular pain, it will help our body to restore itself and feel relaxed as we run.
5. Start your arm swing by moving the arms backwards
When you’re running, keep your shoulders down, relaxed and slightly back. If you swing your arms forwards, your shoulders will lift, creating muscular aches in your neck, shoulders and arms. Instead, start by moving your arms backwards. You’ll find it’s easier to keep the shoulders down and stay relaxed, and this will prevent over-rotation and added pressure on your spine!
“The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.”
/George Sheehan, running legend