Simple tips will help you avoid injury and stay safe while you're out pounding the fitness beat
IF YOU have been inspired by the many races take place all over the country or by the hordes of people running in the parks and streets at the weekend and would like to give it a go yourself, I have some helpful tips on technique and injury prevention.
These tips are for the complete beginner and the avid runner. It is important for everyone to run correctly. I call it Positive Running.
• Look Ahead
Your eyes should be focused on the ground just ahead of you. Don't stare at your feet. Not only is this proper running form, but it's also a safer way to run because you can see what's coming and avoid falling.
• Land Mid-foot
If you run on your toes, your calves will get tight and fatigue quickly. If you land on your heels, you are over-striding and wasting valuable energy.
Try to land on the middle of your foot, and then roll through to the front of your toes. Also keep your toes pointing ahead.
• Don't over-use your arms
Lots of people hold tension in their upper body when running. Try to relax, keep your hands at waist level and at a 90-degree angle.
Try not to clench your fists as it can lead to tightness in the arms, shoulders and neck. Relax, enjoy and let your arms help you along.
• Check Your Posture
Run tall and proud. Keep your head up, back straight and shoulders under your ears and maintain a neutral pelvis.
By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips:
• Listen to your body
Don't ignore pain. A little discomfort is okay, but pain is a no-no. Have a rest, and if the pain persists, see a physiotherapist. Don't let something trivial turn into a real injury.