Okay, so you all know the issue I am currently dealing with- if not read it here. I need to win. Look, it’s not an option to lose, and I am stubborn and competitive. Haha! Not quite but I do want to out-run or atleast keep up with the bf…but I don’t plan on working doubley as hard or running double his speed to do so, just because I have the stride distance of an ant. SO I am determined to work on it- especially with the Brisbane Running Festival 5km in a few weeks. I’ve found some pretty good info, so I thought why not share it? Selfless? Oh I know.
- My least favourite option: running hills or doing hill hops with one leg. A good way to practise this is choosing a hilly track next time you run. Running up hills is harder right? So generally you are exaggerating your running movements and this will improve your strength and stride when you are running on flat ground. Hmm, don’t think I am that desperate…haha dedicated runner right?
- Another option (which I much prefer) is called bounding- where you over-exaggerate the movement and almost leap from foot to foot. This stretches out the hamstrings a bit too, which is good for longer strides.
- If tight muscles are the cause of your small stride your quads could be tight. Kicking your butt as you run (butt kicks) is a good technique to try and will stretch out those quadies in the process.
- Skipping? Yes please! Haha, what fun- this is definitely an option I’d consider doing..I think somehow the bf will insist I practise this option on my own?
- To improve your running strength you can do some specific strength exercises for running including one-legged squats, step-ups, one legged-lunges (other leg elevated behind you). Incase you didn’t notice (not a snarky comment I promise) there is an emphasis on the strengthening and activation of the hamstrings here.
- Let’s not put this new strength to waste so make so make sure you can power OFF the ground with great force too. Explosive-type exercises like HIIT and plyometrics is ideal for improving your explosive running strength.
- One issue that may be hindering your stride length is your running technique/form. Make sure you step through your foot by dorsif-flexing your ankle, opposed to plantar-flexing where your toes face down and you end up landing with too much emphasis on the front of the foot. This could be one of my big issues because the bf noticed I am too front-footed (which I already knew thank you!)
My plan of action: I already do plenty of strength and leg training in my current workouts but I am thinking about doing a few extra specific strength exercises that target the hamstrings as shown above. I also plan to stretch out the muscles a bit because I am tight 24/7 (this is something I should do anyway not just for my stride, tut tut lazy bek). And I am going to try some bounding and skipping also..I think I’ll leave the hills for another time aye 😉
BUT my lack of stride could really just be because running is a HUGE effort and struggle for me. I am the queen of fitness classes but running- I am THE ultimate amateur. However, I’m determined to keep trying and as a lover of all things fitness- I want to test my fitness and push my body to do new and different thing. And the more I run the more I’ll improve. They do say- practise makes perfect. Another obstacle for me could be my mentality. I know I am a shocking runner and maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I should re-read Annette from Enjoy your Healthy Life‘s blog post again?
Oh and I just had to finish with a funny- this is me, literally.
Are you a runner? If so, have you got any tips for me (desperate plea)? Do you agree with me in that some people are just natural-runners whereas others aren’t?