Running tips! Thinking of doing the Sheffield 10k? Read this blog!

Running tips! Thinking of doing the Sheffield 10k? Read this blog!

Tash Bright No Comment

Running technique tips by former Britain’s Female Athlete of the Year, Becky Lyne:

Are you a runner? Or could you be cajoled into giving it a go? If so, Sheffield Futures are teaming up with former Britain’s Female Athlete of the Year, Becky Lyne, to give you technique tips to help take your running to another level – or indeed take those first steps.

Since having her middle distance career cut short by injury, she has used her experience to develop a model that guides runners through 5 key principles to help them move GRACE-fully, thus reducing injuries and enhancing enjoyment.

Here she shares with us two of these principles:

‘G’ for Grow

The most common fault I see among fun/club (sometimes even elite!) runners is that they ‘sit’ when they run i.e. their hips are low and posture somewhat collapsed. The upshot of this is that they:

  • run heavy and flat-footed on their feet;
  • land with their foot in front of their centre of mass, exerting a breaking force on momentum;
  • don’t activate their core which often results in trying to control the movement from tense shoulders, which in turn can restrict breathing.

The oft cited advice from ‘expert’ passers-by when out on a run of ‘knees up, knees up’ (usually followed shortly thereafter by ‘run, Forest, run!’), could not be worse advice. Next time retort to them, you should be shouting ‘hips up, hips up’. Even when doing a high knees drill it shouldn’t be at the expense of high hips. In fact, once you get the position of your hips right it will actually feel more like your knees are down as your quad and hip flexors engage in a more extended position at the point of ground contact. (More on this later as it also relates to some of the other letters in our acronym…).

A key mistake I see as people try to implement this element of form is they grow very rigidly tall – almost military-esque. The aim should be more ‘regal’ and the feel should be that of running on your legs, rather than with them. I know that might sound strange, but have a play with it… This then prompts the core to fire and the shoulders to relax creating a wonderful sense of control yet openness.

‘E’ for Enjoyment

I’m often asked what sport or exercise is best to help you lose weight and my answer is always the same: one that you enjoy. That way you’re more likely to not only do it but also to develop a good relationship with being active – and in turn with yourself.

How often do you see people grimacing as they are pounding their legs along the pavements? It’s almost like penance for their sins! And how often do these people have awful techniques?  Like you can change your technique, you can also change your mindset.

I don’t subscribe to ‘no pain, no gain’ anymore. It only brought me fleeting happiness on the odd occasion I won a race, but many more a down moment as I nursed my latest injury from over-doing it.

Now, I fall far more in favour of ‘letting the effort come to me’ mindset (then it’s like you don’t even have to try! 😉).

Now I nurture a feeling of gratitude for having the ability to push myself, rather than fear or fight the discomfort that inevitably comes along for the ride.

Now I enjoy running for running, not just winning as was the case previously. Not that I ever win these days!

And the great thing about it is that this resulting enjoyment leads to better technique thanks to greater relaxation and a light heart, which in turn leads to greater enjoyment…and it all spirals hopelessly out of control! Before you know it, you’re a running addict high on stress-and-anxiety-killing serotonin, anandamide and kynurenine aminotransferase 😉.

If this has whetted your appetite to learn more, Becky runs technique workshops in which she reveals all five principles, together with drills to encourage their implementation. Optional personalised slow-motion video analysis can further help to guide you in the key areas for you to focus on.

In the run up to the Sheffield 10k in September and Half Marathon in April, she is offering 10% off workshops for all runners representing Sheffield Futures and she will donate a further 10% of the cost to us. To redeem your discount, use the code ‘FUTURES’ on the bookings page: www.bookwhen.com/grace-fulrunning.

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