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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Technique Matters

Now, as I've said before, when you are running from point A to point B, the fastest way you can get to point B is a straight line.  It's important to keep that line straight because once it curves, it means that you're wasting your energy.  The energy that could have been used to go forward is used to go side to side, as well as correcting the shifts of weight, constantly using more energy, thus wasting the energy and slowing down the individual's time.  Every second counts, and for a long race such as a marathon, those seconds pile up into minutes.  It's important to efficiently use your body's energy to get from point A to B as fast as you possibly can.

There is a lot more to running than just putting on shoes and going out.  Every day, I'm learning more about the body and how it works, as well as how to use what you know about the body and run as fast as you can.  The techniques that I am about to share is a mix of personal opinion and truth, but as I keep on running, I learn more and add or change the techniques in order to maximize my running performance.

When running, head should be up, chest should lead the way, arms bent at 90 degrees, fists closed but not too tight (I was always taught to pretend you are holding on to a potato chip), breath in through the nose and out through the mouth (if every step is a beat, I breath in through the nose one beat more than breathing out with my mouth in order to balance the muscles around my lungs to prevent cramps... this is a personal opinion, and it has worked for me), short but quick steps to insure that the least amount of pressure would go to the joints, and of course, when striking your foot against the ground, try not to put any weight on the heel as it hits the ground (so it wouldn't break your forward movement), but rather continuously push off midfoot/balls of your feet, so that you can continuously run further and faster.  As I take a step, my arms will push forward with ease, smoothly pushing me forward.  My body would be loose so that all the muscles would be able to stretch out to their max position, if possible, so that I would be able to run faster.

Knowing the techniques and using the techniques are a different story.  I've been able to get most everything, but the hardest technique for me to do is the midfoot strike.  I've always ran smoothly forward using my heel a  little for support, but it was still hard to see.  Today, as I ran 3 miles in 19:06 (6:24 min/mile), I was working on my form, practicing so that my performance would improve.

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