Following on from last weeks blog, today we share three tips for optimising your technique and getting started with running.
It’s easier to get yourself into good technique now, than to try to retrain these things months into a program!
Trying to think about too many things at once can be overwhelming, so here are some of the most common issues we see with running technique.
1. Cadence (steps per minute)
The number of steps you take per minute (spm) can play a role in decreasing your injury risk and optimising your performance.
Research shows that for distance running, a cadence of 180 (90 steps on each foot) steps per minute is ideal and that above 170 beneficial in decreasing injury risk for a variety of lower limb injuries, including ITB issues, knee pain and foot and Achilles pain.
Whilst a lot of recreational runners will have a cadence on 150-160, this can result in higher ground reaction forces and stress on the bones and soft tissues. Everyone will have a different optimal cadence, so 180spm won’t be achievable or ideal for all runners.
How do I change it?
Trying to change your cadence from 150 to 170-180 won’t happen overnight.
Aim for gradual improvements of 5-10% each week so that you’re not making too many drastic changes to your running style. Trying to keep count yourself is just not pracitcal, so GPS watches will often track this for you, as will free SmartPhone Apps like RunKeeper.
2. Stride Length
You may have heard of heel striking vs mid or forefoot striking and been told that the latter is better.
The evidence on this is inconclusive, but what does matter it where your foot lands!! Landing with your foot underneath your body is the ideal position for both performance and decreasing injury risk.
3. Trunk Position
So commonly, we see runners who are hunched right over, or trying so hard to maintain upright posture at the expense of other important factors such as foot position.
The research here is still quite conflicting- one school of thought is to “lean forwards” from the ankle rather than the trunk. This optimises the ability of the muscles that extend your hip to produce power.
Other researchers have shown a small amount of forward lean from the trunk can help to decrease the load through the knee.
With this in mind, a small amount of forward lean from the hips (~7deg) may be optimal for some, whilst others feel better in a upright position.
So long as your not hunching forwards at your shoulders or leaning forwards excessively, find what works best for you!
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain or stiffness.
If you are showing some signs of this condition or simply want help prevent this from happening in the future then book in with one of our highly experienced Remedial Massage Therapists today!