Quick Tips

On this page, I will document any new running tips and tricks I have learned or read about, and worked for me.  Hopefully, you can get some useful advice from my lessons learned.

Disclaimer:  I am not a certified coach or trainer, I am just a runner sharing what I have learned over the years and what works for me.  Take it or leave it, but don’t blame me if it doesn’t work for you.  Sometimes, techniques are up to the individual.  As in any type of rigorous exercise or endurance activity, please consult your doctor before attempting anything that may potentially be a risk to your health.

 

Running Form

The Pose Method

I learned this recently, and it has worked so far for me.  I need to do some drills in order to improve this “pose” but I am getting there.  The concept of this “pose” running form is to use gravity to propel you to go forward.  To start, lean forward until you feel like falling, then your feet will catch you (a natural occurrence, of course, as you won’t allow yourself to fall flat on the ground).  Pose running may reduce the impact on your knees.

At all times, in any running form you do, always keep your upper body steady; only the legs are moving.  Think of it this way:  if you are watching yourself running, on TV, if you cover your bottom half you should just see your body hardly ever moving; if you cover your top half, you will probably see your legs moving and going crazy as you run.

This is where a good core workout would help runners, especially on those longer runs, to keep the upper body steady.  I have this problem where my upper body moves a lot, especially when I am getting very tired and fatigue.  I need to always keep this in mind.

Arms should always be forward motion, do not let your arms cross your body (as your not very efficient when your arms swing across your body).  In addition, do not do too much swinging of arms; a nice relax forward/backward movement is sufficient.

 

Running Hills

Uphill / Climbing 

– It’s okay to transition to walk on a steep hill, or on any uphill where you are getting tired.  If you transition from run to walk, try to keep the pace, alternate run and walk.  When walking, try to keep longer strides to keep the pace.  Shorter strides is okay if it gets steeper.  When walking, arms are lower, almost like hammering down on something.  When running, arms are at 90degree angle.

– On steep hils, put your hand on your knees, using your arms to push off.  This is somewhat similar to using poles to push off.  In addition, hands on your knees allow your lower back to rest and relax.  (Pushing off from your thighs do not do any good, has to be from knees).

– Look several footsteps ahead, spot something and run/walk towards that spot, scanning forward as you get to that point.

– It seems more efficient to run on the balls of your foot, but do more of mid-foot to rolling to the balls of your foot.  When walking, flat foot walking works best, you get more surface area.

– Do not charge uphill, or go running fast, you will naturally slow down your pace a little bit.

Downhill / Descending

– Run down in straight line if possible zig-zagging will make you go more unnecessary miles.

– Run with short quick strides, keeping your feet close to each other.  Do not run longer strides, as if you are powering down that hill.  If you step on uneven surface or somehow lose balance, if you have long strides then your feet may be too far apart and you may face-plant and fall.

– Keep your arms low (do NOT  bring your arms up so high as if you are waving like you just don’t care).  If your arms are low (normal, when running) then you can find your balance quicker should something happen, or if you almost fall, your arms are lower that you can use the ground or something nearby to catch your fall.

– Body form – you are not necessarily leaning forward or back, but straight yet using gravity to go forward.

– Run flat foot – you get more surface area covered and more traction, thus less likely to lose balance.

– Take your steps on the highest surface, avoiding those sunken areas (ruts).

 

Running (Exercising) Tips When Sick (or Injured)

I hardly ever get sick, but when I do, it hits me like a truck ran over me.  Here are some good info I gathered if you want to exercise when sick.

Disclaimer:  I am NOT a physician, nor do I have a medical degree.  I’m an accountant so I am nowhere near being a medical person.  The below info is from certain medical websites I gathered, links are also provided below.

Sometimes, you may have the common cold but you still want to go out for a run.  I read that the general rule is, if symptoms are “above the neck” then you may still do non-strenuous exercise.  For long-distance runners, maybe going for a shorter slower run; for all others, maybe going for a walk; this will give you the exercise that you crave.  If your symptoms are below the neck, like chest congestion, stomach pains, or muscle pain, then you probably should take a day off from exercise.  As always, listen to your body.  For more about this advice, visit the Mayo Clinic website.

Nutrition

Being injured or sick, you should still keep up with proper nutrition.  Vitamin C is always good, and is especially important for healing.  Read more about it from this article, The Athlete’s Kitchen, by Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD.

What works for me, and this happened when I recently had the common cold:

Meal to eat – this Thai soup called Tom Yum Gai, it’s so spicy it is the only thing that I can taste, and the spicy-ness will clear your clogged nose.  I also like the spicy Thai fried rice with basil.  The Thai basil is good for you as it can stimulate your immune system.

To soothe the cough – Chamomile and Honey! The Honey is a natural anti-bacterial. Also, sometimes it’s OK to cough. Your body/lungs need to get the toxins out. Just make sure you cough into your arm, or sleeve, so you don’t spray and spread your germs!

Pre-Race Mantra (from Ted Corbitt, the founding father of long-distance running)

*I will be relaxed and free of all restrictions, free of all coordination tensions in running.
*I will feel buoyant and strong while running.
*I will run in a perfect pacing coordination form.
*I will be at ease during the morning of a/the race and my pulse will not accelerate before or during the pre-race physical examination.
*I will run hard and enjoy the effort.
*My gastro-intestinal system will remain normal in function on the day of a race and especially during a race.
*On the day of a race all body organs will function perfectly, especially the heart and digestive systems.

*written around 1959