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Running tips

This may sound very very basic but i wanted to pick all your brains on running styles....

....when running do you....

1. Short fast steps (short stride) / Long slower steps (long stride)

2. Hands up by chest / Hands down lower

3. Swing arms/shoulders / stiffer arms

4. Head up straight (more upright running) / Head forward (leaning forward position)

would love to hear your responses to 1,2,3 & 4....


  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Hello Gary

    Running is very much a personal thing but here goes.

    I run with a long stride. This is my natural gate and works for me.

    I also have my arms up by chest but with relaxed shoulders. I dont thnk you should hold any part of your body stiffly because that is not natural.

    I find my running style to be the same no matter what the speed.

    Head up and as still as possible. Arms swing slightly to help with balance.

    I honestly find all this natural.

    Hope it helps.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Stay loose and relaxed and you'll fall into your natural style - but I am interested in the Newtons' style!
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    ok here goes, I read a hell of a lot of crap on running so I think I have a good grasp of the science.

    You should be aiming for 180 strides per min, they have done huge studies on elite runners, from shorter distance (800) up to marathon all the same 180. This is due to the use of elastic energy which is stored in your ligaments and tendons as you put weight on that foot, if you don't release it quick enough you lose it!

    180 is quite fast, best way i found to get yourself to this cadence is to find a piece of music with 180bpm and practice matching the beats, after a while it will become 2nd nature.

    You may have to shorten your stride length at 1st to keep up with this cadence, but in the long run you will be able to use the elastic energy far better and so you will develop better economy.

    The stride length is then what dictates speed, the elite runners can have longer stride lengths but still maintain economy and are still at 180 strides per min.

    arms and shoulders should be relaxed and allowed to swing, elbows should be about 90deg. if you stop your arms moving it will affect your legs, there is a lot of evidence to suggest if you want to go faster you move your arms faster and more forcefully and your legs follow as they coordinate from the arms, and if you try and do the legs first then you body becomes uncoordinated, dunno if thats true!

    head up, looking forward, there should be a slight lean in your whole body, so you are utilizing the gravity part of falling forward, its one of the main principles of "pose" or "chi" running, but may be a little complicated, so for now head up, looking forward, be as tall as possible.
  • Interesting, having come straight outta the football pitch 'power on, power off' school of running I found myself struggling big time with economical distance running so have read and experimented like mad...It has basically come to this...My running 'style' is what it is;the natural way my body moves is obviously unique, BUT, there are things I have taken on board to help it-'concentrate on form' in coach-speak, basically tells me to hold good posture as much as fatigue allows, this, coupled with the much advised higher stride rate is promoting efficiency and thus preventing injury..don't try to over-analyse or change your style too much mate, relax and improve fitness, it is certainly continuing to work for me...[;)]
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Changing your running style can be very difficult to do - and not necessarily productive. But, for endurance running, efficiency is important, along with injury avoidance.

    Generally, the less time that your feet spend on the ground, the better. This implies high cadence, with relatively little knee lift. As has been said, this tends to work out at 180 steps per minute (count your right arm swings - you should get about 90). As you go faster, you stride length increases, but the cadence remains the same.

    Listen to the sound of you feet, try to make them as quiet as possible - that can help.

    Running tall - think of a cord from the top of you head being pulled up - is also good - encourages more efficiency, better breathing.

    Breathing is also important - but I can't remember what you are supposed to do (2,2 or something).

    Personally: I do 180 steps a minute, arms are relatively low, steps relatively short. I try to run tall and think about form every so often. I think my breathing is about right! I still get injured and don't go as fast as I want though ;-)
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I just run. After the bike leg, any form of getting one leg in front of the other at quicker than walking pace is a bonus [:D]

    More seriously, the coach at my tri club track session has been telling me off for rolling my shoulders, with my arms too far away from my body and has suggested I need to keep them more by my sides.
  • Thanks folks......this is really helpful.

    Since starting training about four weeks ago i've spend a disproportionate time in the pool (because i could barely swim a length without half filling a lung). The swimming has improved 1000% since then so have decided to start a twelve week training plan (Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide - Matt Fitzgerald), First sprint is in 12 weeks! Which means me and the treadmill are getting properly equated - i did 5 miles yesterday in 45minutes, which i understand is pretty slow. I asked the questions on form because i found that my fitness was v.good, i wasn't panting or gasping, but i do sweat a lot! And i get pain in between my shoulder blades and my left knee....

    Its early days but i love swimming, i've just got hold of an excellent second hand Trek 1.9 and would hate to find the running a pain.....

  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    You need to strength your back if you are runningmore. Lower back and shoulder blade pain can come from the portion your body suts in when running (posture). I suggest you think about some exercise that strengths these areas.

    Are you stretching before you run?
  • Truth is.....No, i don't do enough stretching. I will!

  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    9 minute miles aren't so bad, especially after only 4 weeks training. How long are the runs on your sprint? If it's 5KM then you're looking at 29 minutes. You may go quicker over a shorter distance.

    If they're available have a look at times from races you have entered for previous years. 29 minutes is not quick certianly, but not is it dreadful.

    Don't forget your brick training. This might be the best thing you can do between now and the races to improve your race performance. Otherwise your legs will feel very odd off the bike and you won't be able to run properly even if you have got lots of running training in.
  • Thanks, i have done two brick training sessions, where i do 45 mins on the gym bike and then a 10 minute run with no rest. To be honest i didn't feel that shaky, which leads me to think i'm not doing enough on the bike!

    But i really push it on the bike, really push it! I don't think the gym bikes are such a good indication of distance/performance, i do 22k in 45 minutes (according to the computer), I set the resistance to 8 (which i know doesn't mean much to anyone else but i can say, it is medium resistance). I am not unfit but i think 22k in 45min is just not good enough! I can't wait to get on my road bike so that i can gauge my performance for real - but until then i find it hard to believe i'm that far behind the pack!!!

  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Hi Gary,

    Personally I wouldn't worry too much about how far you're going just yet. I guess at the moment you're trying to build endurance so really it's how long you're spending on the bike rather than the distance. Speed and power will come and can be worked on once you have a good base.

    With regards to running take a look at Triathlon Plus inside this month's Cycling Plus mag. It's got some good tips, particularly with regard to strides and posture.

  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Steady on, Gary! And remember that 22 km on the turbo is a whole lot further when you equate it to actually being on the bike (does that make any sense?) You've had to work for all those metres and not roll along like you can on the road - that makes a big difference.

    I wonder if you might explode with excitement before your first sprint...
  • Juleso.......lol

    Laughing my head off here.....i am a little excited [:D].....i can't help it, i'm totally hooked and i haven't started yet!! Was watching some ironman vids on youtube earlier and actually felt emotional.......i think i've lost it!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    You'll sweat more on the treadmill because you don't have the cooling effect of a headwind - there is no air circulating round you. Make sure you are properly hydrated.. this can make things feel harder than they would otherwise. When the weather gets better, have a go outside in the real world, and see how it feels. You may well find that your pace is a bit faster, for the given level of effort.

    Any idea what your heart rate is, and what zone it is in? - that's a good measure of how hard you are trying.

    If you are getting sore from the running then you may well be doing too much (at too intense a level). Don't be afraid to slow down a bit - it is good to get the bulk of your running in at an easy level, with just a few "quality" sessions. Given your deadline, you do not want to pick up an injury at this stage!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Pain in left knee could be imbalance on quadriceps, I had that, advised to do leg extensions and that seems to have helped.

    3 years ago I was running at 10Km/hr, now 13.5Km/hr not brilliant but 35% faster and not too bad for a 52 yr old knacker.

    Going from bike to run in a race will give you jelly legs at first, shift into a lower gear in the last Km to get a higher cadence, that will help.

    If you can doggle paddle your way through the swim, bike with the pace of a vicar and run/walk to the end and finish .... job done. Amything else is a bonus.

    Just do atrawl of all the newbie tips, don't rush in transition, take it calmly, don't hurt yourself and you will be fine.

    Good luck
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