Knees hurt, back hurts & running feels hard a lot of the time. Training feels crappy, and before long "I'm not a real runner" keeps playing on repeat. Inconsistency plays out while you fight with injury, motivation and energy.
You're making running harder than it needs to be by trying to run fast and far, instead of slowing down and respecting there are more efficient ways to move from A to B (just like you value technique in squatting or doing a push-up! Running is no different.)
You found something that helps you manage your wellbeing. Still, it feels like such an unhealthy and even abusive relationship at times, so I'm guessing you may doubt your ability to have a long-term and healthy relationship with two feet (weird analogy, but we going to run with it.) You don't deserve to feel that way, no one does! Running should be a safe place that elevates your life, not just another thing to stress over. I got you, and here are three simple tips I've successfully passed on to 1000's of movers just like you.
Stand straight, squeeze your butt and tighten your core around your spine just a little. Now roll your shoulders back without flaring your chest or arching your back, while you look straight ahead. From side on you should be able to draw a straight line down through your ears, shoulders and hips. Great! Now go for a run slowly while maintaining the integrity of that structure. When it breaks, stop re-set and go again. Give it time, and you'll learn to hold that shape for longer.
Think about this shape for the other 23 hours of the day. Slouching now and again is more than ok, but your body becomes strongest at the things we practice the most. Practice a good shape during the day, e.g. Sitting at your desk, making coffee, going for a walk or standing in the pub. The more time you spend in a good shape when not running, the easier it is for your body to remember when you are.
Learn to nasal breath while doing most of your runs. The nose will engage your diaphragm, which helps your whole body work better together. Nasal breathing also reduces stress when running, causing your mind to slow down so you can listen to the signals your body is trying to communicate. You will be working at a capacity your body can handle and sustain for more extended periods (endurance.) You won't break down as quickly physically, and guess what, you may enjoy it.
Side note. Yes, at first it will be hard, like any new skill acquisition. But if you persist and focus on matching your pace of running to your breath and not the other way around, you will learn the most powerful method to improve your running and wellbeing.
65 - 80% of runners a year get injured. You have likely been one of them, and I'm sure you don't want to be hurt again, so you need to focus on improving technique. By following these tips and continuing to explore how you move, I promise you will reduce the threat of injury catching you. The result? Better wellbeing, which means you continue to have the energy for yourself and those close to you. In my eyes, that's how we can all help in the current climate.
Until next time friend, keep it simple, don't make training harder than it needs to be and ensure you keep taking action to make running and your wellbeing enjoyable.
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