Running is one of the most utilised sports when it comes to keeping fit and healthy, and as basic as it seems, it requires some know-how for best results and contentment. There’s more to running than simply donning your track suit and heading outdoors. It takes some effort on your part to discipline your body to adhere to certain patterns and retain focus. However it’s easy to learn how to increase your speed while keeping that posture which allows for maximum efficiency.
Choose Your Gear Carefully
Most people barely consider their running gear as being important, but it’s essential to be comfortable in what you wear for a workout. Running shoes especially top the list as they ought to make you feel light on your feet. Similarly, your clothes should not be dense and make you feel like you are carrying weight, albeit mentally. You can also get a high tech watch for timing your routines.
Always Warm Up
Before you break into a run, you should prepare your body psychologically for the task ahead. Jogging is a preferable way for warming up, as it prepares your body processes to work faster without an adrenaline injection. Simple drills like high knees and rope skipping, are equally effective.
Maintain the Right Posture
The posture you strike during your workout is vital. It may limit or enhance your speed and overall performance of the workout. Running is a fun activity and your body should be relaxed, not all tensed up. You should keep your torso upright, with your shoulders relaxed and your forearms at a ninety degree angle and parallel to the ground.
Keep your head up and always let your eyes gaze forward, not down at your feet. Avoid lifting your head too high as you may strain your neck.
An effective, yet less known technique, to running is learning how to breathe properly. Taking deep breaths allows you to draw in more oxygen to your body; nourishing it, and enabling your muscles to produce much needed energy.
Use both your mouth and nose to inhale and exhale – a behaviour one can observe amongst professional athletes. Try and perfect belly-breathing, in which you inflate your stomach with deep breaths, making it act as a balloon. Endeavour to time your breaths with your footpace so as to create rhythm. This allows you to maintain a steady pace and you can pick up your pace with the same frequency of breathing.
Try Hill Runs
If you are trying to build up your running speed, hill runs are ideal for the goal. Running uphill adds a level of difficulty to your training schedule and requires more energy than when on level ground. At first it will be a bit challenging, but with time, your body will adjust accordingly and you’ll pick up speed eventually. You can do some sprinting at your maximum possible speed which allows you to adjust fairly easily and run at a faster pace on level terrain.
Listen to Music
Listening to music while running has been attributed to increased energy levels during exercises and you can begin with your favourite playlist. Later you can pick music with a higher tempo to allow you to pick up the pace.