Following my latest post on the pros and cons of running I thought I would give some advice on how to gain the most out of each run and how to minimise potential injuries. All of this will be featured around creating and maintaining a 'good' running technique.
Flexibility in muscles, tendons and ligaments is crucial in avoiding injury. Therefore before and after each run it is important to complete basic stretches of the major leg muscles to improve and maintain flexibility.
A good posture is key to allowing an efficient run and ensuring maximum oxygen flow to muscles. Ensure a fairly upright position with the chest pulled up and shoulders back. A slumped position requires more muscles to hold the body up causing an energy wastage.
The majority of leg injuries occur due to over striding and therefore placing the foot down in front of the body instead of directly below. The knee should only be bent at a 90 degree angle when running.
It is important to coordinate the upper and lower body when running. When in coordination the load of the run is taken off of a single muscle group and spread throughout the entire body. The upper and lower body should be completing a similar amount of work.
When breathing during a run the chest shouldn't be rising and falling, you should adopt a technique called 'belly breathing' utilising the full abdomen capacity to fully inflate/deflate the lungs, making use of more oxygen per breath.
Finally, it is important to remain relaxed when running. This will reduce the likelihood of straining tight muscles. You will also notice a lot more of your surroundings and therefore have a more pleasant running experience.