A lot of people hate running. And even the ones who regularly choose to run for exercise will admit that it can suck! It’s a type of exercise that burns a lot of calories in an efficient amount of time, but can take a lot of time and consistent effort to build a respectable level of endurance. Running can also be hard on the joints, especially the knee joint, and exposes us to the elements. So when it’s hot or cold outside, you’ll experience the weather in a more intense fashion than when you are simply walking around in it.
But running doesn’t have to suck! Here are some tips to help make running easier:
- Relax: A lot of runners begin to tense up, jutting their chin out, rounding their shoulders and tensing their necks as they start straining for more energy and oxygen! This makes running significantly harder than it has to be by exhausting your muscles quicker and making it more difficult to breathe.
- Build leg endurance and core strength: Don’t just stick to running if you want it to get easier. Running doesn’t have to suck when you have more endurance in your legs and a stronger core to keep your body in an efficient position throughout your workout. Integrate resistance training and core work a few times a week, especially focusing on building strength in your glutes, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. Moves like planks and low-back/hip strengthening exercises (supermans, hip abduction/adduction and glute bridges) will boost your running game as well!
- Stop running with your arms: This tip goes hand-in-hand with the first one I mentioned. Relax your upper body and stop swinging your arms especially side to side. Keep them relaxed and close to your body as you engage your core. Focus on keeping your legs under you without over striding as well.
- Slow down: Stop focusing on your speed especially if you feel like running does suck most of the time! Your speed will improve as you build your endurance. Focus on an easy tempo that fits your current ability and learn to run with more comfort before trying to reach new PRs.