Energy-Saving Run Tips

You all know I’m a fan of ChiRunning, a book and method of running by Danny Dryer.  He’s an ultramarathoner who ties in the principles of Tai Chi to running, working with your body instead of against it.  One of the biggest benefits I’ve felt is when I mentally run through the checklist for improving my form.  When I’m feeling fatigued on a run, it means my form has fallen apart.  As soon as I’m back on track with more efficient form, I have more energy.  Worth a shot if you like running, and of course I had to add in a few asides 🙂 :

“There are a number of things you can do when you get tired on a run.  Just because you’re feeling tired doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at your physical limit.  You could be doing something that is causing you to work harder than you need to….When you get tired, your form generally starts to fall apart, which in turn uses even more energy.  Here are some focuses to remember when you’re feeling tired:

  • Shorten your stride.
  • Correct your posture. Make sure your feet are hitting behind your upper body, not in front of it.
  • Engage your lean again, but don’t bend at the waist.
  • Slow down your pace until you recover some strength.
  • Breathe more from your abdomen and increase your breath rate. Some people get tired from breathing too slowly.
  • Look up & take in the world around you.  Don’t focus on your fatigue, or you’ll get more tired.  Look around and take in energy from the scenery. [blogger’s note- Nicole taught me this one!]
  • Relax your shoulders [shout out to yoga!]. Let your arms dangle at your sides for 30 seconds every 2 miles.
  • Pick up your heels and get your feet moving in a circular motion. Stay away from a shuffle.
  • Try to relax any muscles [sound like yoga yet?] that feel particularly tired  or sore.  This will help keep energy flowing to overworked areas.
“It amazes me how tired I can get just thinking about how tired I am.  On the other hand, it amazes me how much more my body can do when it is aligned and relaxed.”
-Danny Dryer

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