I run one or twice a week, not far, often just a few kilometres. Despite that, I’m always on the look out for running tips. Ironically, a book on meditation and running by Sakyong Mipham got me interested in the mechanics, while another called “ChiRunning” by Danny Dreyer provided the details. Their tips were:
- If your mind wanders away from focusing on the posture, focus back on the breath. Feel the connection between the navel,central core and mouth. Relax the eyes and allow the focus to be on the core
- Many beginners lean or collapse forward from the hips and force the head forward, which adds extra weight in the front, and throws one off balance.
- Instead, use a fully-body tilt where you fall forward from your ankles, rather than your waist – think Nordic ski jumpers. This puts gravity on your side. Relax and loosen your hips.
- Try to be efficient with strides by using as little movement of the legs as possible, so no need to raise the legs extra high. Pick you feet up, rather than push them off the ground. Everything below your knee should dangle when your foot is off the ground.
- Pay attention to how you land; try to land behind you, rather than in front of you (which would act as a brake) and on the centre of the foot (rather than the heel). Let your stride open behind you.
- Bend your elbows to 90-degrees and swing from the shoulders. Focus on the tips of your shoulders. Swing to the rear – so your fingers come back to the ribs, then the elbows come to ribs. Your hands should not cross the centre-line of your body as it would create too much side-to-side motion.
- The faster you want to go, the more you lean, the longer the stride. Conversely, the slower you want to go, the less you lean, the smaller the stride.