Running basics

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When I started running, it was all about running at full potential every day, which I thought in days I may improve my run, but I was wrong as this approach of run-training didn’t help me improve my running ability. In fact, it made my training more stressed and painful. So the question arises, what is the best way to understand run capacity through feel? And understood when I started taking coaching from Chis Armstrong (Run2PB), it’s all about slow and combination runs with consistency each week.

When I have to rate my run from one to ten, being ten as the highest effort, I try to run between five to six, running at a conversation pace; the best to understand is by saying a sentence or singing a song while running. This pace helps me to run slower with less fatigue, and to run at this effort requires some practice as I couldn’t get it for a while; maybe I was too motivated and running slow means training less hard which my brain was not accepting at the initial stage of training. Found advantage of this technique is joints and muscles feel much stronger than before.

Now thinking of my marathon training, I tried myself for 6 months, and I couldn’t run further than 22kms just because I was running at a high heart rate. But once I started running slower, my endurance level built up, injuries minimised, and time speed build-up. Today, half-marathon has become an easy run and marathon achievable run.

To measure heart rate, I use Garmin Fenix 6x watch, where its wrist HR reading is pretty accurate and if one of you wants the most accurate readings, then go for HRM-RUN, which syncs with most Garmin watches. Be minded Garmin is not the only device; you can go for Suunto, Polar, Apple watch and more similar brands based on your own research. Well, the precise training effort is determined by a power meter (STRYD) as a heart rate monitor shows what happened in the past, where a power meter tells what’s happening now at a current fraction of a second. Run with feel is good but running using real-time data helps make a better decision at that point of the run based on the condition and situation of the human body and environment.

The positive impact of running on physical fitness by Hans & Ron:

  • Improves oxygen capacity of the heart-lung system.
  • Heart rate drops.
  • The heart gets stronger and more efficient.
  • Blood pressure and Blood vessels become more flexible.
  • Lungs get stronger.
  • Leg, heart and lungs muscles become stronger.
  • Bones become stronger.
  • Joints stay agile and flexible.
  • Energy production in muscles will become more efficient.
  • Lose weight and become leaner.
  • Metabolism and bowel movement improves.

BREATHING TECHNIQUE

We normally run out of breath in the running, which may be due to inappropriate breathing techniques. So in simple words for beginners who are learning to run can start breathing from the mouth as at the initial stage of running, our body needs more oxygen than other regular daily activities, then passing the time launching on to better technique by breathing from the belly just because breathing from belly allows intaking more oxygen compared to breathing from chest. The best practice to settle down in the run is breathing in rhythm, so it becomes routine at a run and keeps the mind relaxed, where the can vary for a different run workout based on its kind and requirement.

HEART RATE FOR ENDURANCE RUN

The heart of the runner is a superior and more efficient organ.

– Cardiologist Dr. J. Wolffee, MD

The smooth and comfortable run needs a controlled heart rate. Heart rate was one thing that took a while to understand and adapt in my run; when my colleague Praveen recommended doing a run based on heart rate in my early running carrier, it sounded of less interest until I really experienced it. As running under the required heart rate keeps an athlete more motivated with fewer fatigues. To understand heart rate (BPM) is our body battery, the more controlled it performs.

  • Running increases the number of heart muscle fibres
  • Running increases the number of capillaries and the blood flow through capillaries especially in heart chambers

In these years read a lot of theories came around heart rate and picking Dr Phil Maffetone’s method, below formulated HR practice to be better athletes;

  • Age substracted to 180 is ideal HR (ex: I am 40 years old then, 180-40=140BPM should be my ideal heart rate)
  • If there is more than 2 years RUN gap due to injuries, then subtract 10. (ex: 140-10=130BPM)
  • If there is more than 2 years RUN gap without injuries, then subtract 5. (ex: 140-5=135BPM)
  • If there is 5-10% RUN performed in these two years gap without injuries, then still number remains to upper case.
  • If there is 5-10% RUN performed in these two years gap with injuries, then subtract 5. (ex: 140-5=135BPM)
  • If there is 40-60% RUN performed in the past two years with no injuries, then add 5. (ex: 140+5=145BPM)
  • If there is 80-90% RUN performed in the past two years with no injuries, then add 10. (ex: 140+10=155BPM)

So, based on Dr Phil Maffetone’s theory, my max heart rate is 155BPM, and minimum BPM is obtained by subtracting 10 to the base value (i.e., 140-10=130BPM), So I have to RUN between 145BPM to 130BPM at all my RUN training secessions considering 3-4 days (40-60% training ratio).

Once the athlete understands their heart rate and method to control it then run is full of fun and motivation.

The positive effects of running by Hans & Ron:
– Controls heart and coronary diseases
– Minimises risk of diabetics
– Minimises risk of osteoporosis
– Minimises risk of stroke
– Minimises risk of some Cancer as colon, uterus, breast, etc
– Minimises risk of some lung diseases as bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, etc
– Minimises risk of depression, fears and stress
– Minimises risk of rheumatoid arthritis
– Minimises risk of cystic fibrous
– Adress aging problems
– Minimises risk of Gsout

A regular runner at training uses twice the HR (heart-rate) volume compared to a normal person, which creates a large capacity in the lung-heart system, resulting in lower HR at rest than a pen sports person.

THE RUNNING POSTURE

This was an important topic for runners when I started my run; suffered injuries for a year as Shin Splints, Calf Strain, Plantar Fasciitis, Runners Knee, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Low Back Pain, which was due to improper running technique, as most believe running is something anyone can do by instinct without any background. Still, the truth is anyone can run, but to be an effective and smooth runner with fewer or no injuries, one needs to understand run techniques.

Here is Jono, onebody coach suggests;

  • Stand taller as it increases power and momentum.
  • Forward Lean, but don’t lean from the waist or back but the ankle.
  • Arm position, driving back with your elbows and limit the forward motion increases speed and cadence.
  • Scrapping through, a technique to run faster by applying the power in the correct position and direction.

PRE-WORKOUTS

I am very bad at it right now but still do my best to do the pre-run workout as it helps to run better by loosening joints but too long or heavy workouts may exhaust me. I use it as a tool to overcome inertia which is laziness. Here is what I do with RUN2PB who are doing well with their coaching, I recommend them if you are looking for a run coach.

RUNNING SPEED

The question arises for most;
– How to burn more calories
– How to build PR (personal records)
– How to build better endurance power, etc.
And the basic facts revolve around oxygen and glycogen which supports the whole running game.

Running needs a lot of oxygen.

So building lung capacity reduces oxygen debt on the heart and cardiovascular muscles. Where fatigue run is the cause of oxygen debt, and to overcome it; the best workout is to introduce VO2max runs.

Fuel is essential at RUN.

For long runs, the body needs to be energised in time to keep effort working. To clarify, glycogen is stored in blood, liver and muscles, which provides approx 20min worth of run energy, so better glycogen utilisation helps to run efficiently. The fact sheet says Usain Bolt use Creatine Phosphate which lasts 5-10 seconds at max effort, and the downside is it exhausts heaps, so this theory works for sprint run which may not be suited best on endurance runs.

Our human body fats consist of 3500 calories on each pound of fat.

Now you can see through your own workout how many calories are burnt, by using sports watches, apps, etc. Understand it is hard to burn fat than glycogen, so the best way to burn fat is by constantly running with consistency. Note, fast/sprint run creates stress, where slow long run enables to burn fat using a significant amount of fuel.

How does it work?

More heart rate delivers more blood and oxygen to the body and uses glycogen as quick fuel (read our cadence topic to understand speed); this means a fast run needs more fuel. Similarly, long-run uses FAT as a primary fuel at its endurance speed because fat burns at a slower pace, and to burn the fat, oxygen and glycogen is used. When a speed run is performed, it burns those oxygen and glycogen faster-giving body fatigue and stress; thus, fat is left unburnt. The slow run theory is to release oxygen and glycogen slower to our muscles which allows the body to burn fat; this is known as an aerobic workout. When you see my weekend long runs, Chris Armstrong (RUN2PB) plans it to slow run and walk strategy.

The positive impact of running by Hans & Ron:
– Feel better
– Better sleep
– More calm & relaxed
– Enjoy physic and performance
– Feel younger
– Feel fitter
– Concentration power improves
– Brain thinking capacity improves and ideas and thoughts are more clearers
– Feel more energetic
– Feel free
– More controlled life
– Increased willpower
– More resistance to stress
– Overall quality of life increases

RUN INJURIES

When a runner hits the ground with a longer stride even at a slower speed, in the human body, force is transferred from foot to the end of the spline, causing the run to slow down when heal strikes the ground. In a few distances, it may cause damages to tendons, ligaments, ankle joints, knees joints, hips joints and lower back.

The best method is to run with higher cadence because it allows foot landing to be under body centerline. The whole body acts as a shock observer and takes all impact force, resulting in easy motion as forward motion is easy. After all, there is no resisting force as over striding creates more impact force.

So,  the thumb rule to run with the best cadence is to strike your feet underbody, as the ideal cadence is 180SPM which may vary from 175 to 210.

For endurance runners, short strides on mid or front foot under the body’s centerline provide great protection or fewer injuries and build better performance.

Basic things to consider while running;

  • Run Posture
  • Stride Length
  • Foot Landing
  • Breathing
running basics Running basics cadence

As the truth is, none is born a runner; in fact, it is practice and training.

TIPS

  1. RUN and walk help reduce injuries; good practice if the runner is feeling pain in the run.
  2. Running is a mind game so never give up policy works best to beat PR (personal records)
  3. Lastly, RUN is practice; if you don’t perform regularly/frequently, you lose potentiality.

The positive impact on health by Hans & Ron:

  • Cholesterol level change for better
  • Insulin values get better
  • Blood glucose values get better
  • Bone density increases
  • Body fat percentage decreases
  • Blood volume increases
  • Level of hemoglobin and myoglobin in blood increases
  • The immune system becomes more effective
  • Brain hormone levels become more effective
  • Muscle enzymes become more efficient

RUNNING POSTURE

This was an important topic for runners when I started my run; suffered injuries for a year as Shin SplintsCalf StrainPlantar FasciitisRunners KneePatellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Low Back Pain, which was due to improper running technique, as most believe running is something anyone can do by instinct without any background. Still, the truth is anyone can run, but to be an effective and smooth runner with fewer or no injuries, one needs to understand run techniques.

Here is Jono, OneBody coach secession report;

Your running technique is quite ok for someone with no training in technique or significant background in running!  The areas we focused on are listed below, remember to focus on one component at a time and even on one side of your body.

Areas to focus on…

Stand taller when running – imagine someone pulling you up by your hair. Slightly push your hips forward which helped to open up your hip angle providing a more efficient and flowing run technique. Similar effort but more power and momentum.

Forward Lean – lean slightly forward from your ankles in a straight line all the way up to your body. A forward lean is free momentum and helps to engage your glutes and hamstrings more than putting the load on your quads. Let momentum and gravity drive you forward, running has been described as controlled falling! You got a lot better with this through understanding your body position through leaning back and then forward.

Arms position – Aim to drive back with your elbows and limit the forward motion or reaching in front of your body. The speed of your arms also helps with cadence or leg turnover which helped with being efficient.

Scrapping through – think of scrapping mud of the soles off your shoes to push the power behind you to propel you forward. This helps to apply the power in the correct position and direction with your glutes and hamstrings. Keep practising it, it will get easier!

Run Technique Filming and Drills

  • Sitting down at the waist, restricting hip movement
  • Slightly collapsing at the waist on the left side, running more in an upright position
  • More of a loping style with lower cadence
  • Head nice and still
  • Slightly upright in posture
  • Arms and hands in front of body
  • Reaching out in front of body with foot
  • Be mindful of foot placement in front of body ie. reaching out
  • Feel toes grab
  • One long line from ankles to head
  • Head slightly in front of the chest
  • Accentuating the drill by going back then forward helped to understand the benefit and how far forward to lean
  • Standing taller to open up hips, imagine someone pulling you up by the hair
  • Drive back with hamstrings and glutes
  • Apply power or scrapping motion to push behind you
  • Higher knee lift helps to get foot in a better position for scrapping through
  • Cyclical motion of leg in a flow
  • Be careful not to flick out the back with your foot
  • Practice it every 3 steps or so
  • Aim to get into a flowing fluid motion
  • when running, listen to your feet, if it is loud then you may be hitting the ground hard rather than driving back
  • Drive back with elbows
  • 2nd half of the video shows a better arm position
  • Slight movement across your body helps with some upper body twist to apply power
  • Better cadence and arm position, remember the speed of your arm swing will help to increase cadence
  • Be mindful of not reaching out too far in front of your body with your arms
  • Better body position especially standing taller.
  • Better cadence and arm position, Higher cadence which is more efficient
  • Better application of power in the appropriate position (scrapping through) enabling more forward momentum
  • More stable through hips with less left side collapsing
  • Better foot position, which combined with forwarding lean, reduced the impact on your shins
  • Feet flat on the ground or just heel
  • Drive-up with your hips, squeezing glutes
  • Controlled back to the ground
  • One foot off the ground, one on the ground with a bent knee
  • Drive-up with hips and engage glutes and hamstrings
  • One foot off the ground, one on the ground with a bent knee
  • Drive-up with hips and engage glutes and hamstrings

RUNNING SHOES

If you read the book ‘Born to Run’ and started running in the base foot or flats, you definitely experience some injuries as it’s not common practice. So, running well-cushioned shoes is important for endurance and long-distance running with less or no injuries. And while getting shoes, don’t go tight shoes as one may get blisters or black toenails, and rather buy online, go to the store and get fitted with the right size or, if possible, consult a podiatrist. I use shoes for different runs as carbon fibre plated shoes for race days or PR runs and cushion shoes for long training runs.

But I use a toggle lace system which works well for me.

Coming down to running socks, I use and recommend proper running socks as they got padding around all impact areas as heel, foot, toes, and they reduce discomfort and allergies and improves performance.

While running, I prefer to wear dry-fit breathable shots and t-shirts or singlets based on temperature, as it is all about comfort by keeping body temperature stable. I don’t recommend cotton, even though I used it in my run carrier’s initial days as it gets damp and makes me feel very uncomfortable and heavy.

My running technique is quite ok with no training on technique or significant background in running till I took RUN2PB coaching where the coaching helped me to use the formula of success

SUCCESS=EFFORT x CONSISTENCY

Where various training modules are practised and more to be done such as;

  • Aerobic endurance run
  • Threshold run
  • Climax run
  • Interval training
  • VO2 max intervals
  • Speed intervals
  • Fartlek
  • Hill training, etc.

The theory revolves around the lung-heart system and leg muscles based on training effects and the study of body adaptation to be fitter every day.

The positive training effects of running by Hans & Ron:

Leg muscles become stronger as;

  • Running increases energy cells known as mitochondria
  • Running increases muscle fibres size and numbers
  • Running increases capillaries numbers and blood flow through them
  • Running increases ATP and glycogen stock
  • Running increases enzymes activities by improving the breakdown of glycogen and fatty acids.

Training improves speed and endurance by modifying FT (fast-twitch) muscles to ST (slow-twitch) muscles, achieved through consistency in a run. As we experience training damages some muscles; as a result, we get stress and pain, but muscles recover in time with consistent training providing enough recovery in mid, will strengthen muscles and build performance.

I am not a professional writer and I still believe you enjoyed reading this post, and please don’t forget to leave share your thoughts below.