Running can be a hobby and a sport or even a workout in itself. It has numerous benefits both mental and physical. Running is enjoyed by people of ages. In Florida people can enjoy running all year around. If you are a runner, this blog is for you..
So, what is the secret of running a marathon in under 2:30 hours? Or a 5K in under 16 minutes? Do you need to train for years to run your best? or is there a secret that some runners hack to run faster and remain injury free? And most importantly how to enjoy running?
Running success is definitely multifactorial. However, certain factors stand out. From a perspective of physical therapist, I will lay out some of them.
Let us talk about each of them briefly.
At the molecular level, there is increased cellular oxygen and glucose transport after you start running. These cellular changes are achieved by increased mitochondria, increased capillary density, increased plasma volume and increased gluconeogenesis. This is where the consistency part kicks in because these adaptations return back to normal when you stop running even for 1 week.
While most running articles focus on stride and cadence I would like to focus on lumbar spine and pelvis. To run at maximum efficiency, one needs to maximize mobility and flexibility. While I am sure you warm and do you stretch routine before you run today, I am going to focus on lumbar, hip and pelvic mobility. If you are someone who sits for work for 6-8 hours it is imperative to perform lumbar extension and rotations at least 2-3 times a day.
Recovery is essential part to improve your running. Hard and strenuous training is not necessarily better. A structured periodization program which is divided 80/20 in terms of intensity ensures that you do not stress your systems too hard and have adequate time to recover. Recovery methods like stretching, foam rolling, massage, sound sleep and meditation are proven to be beneficial.
Kinetic chains are muscle groups that work in tandem to produce synchronous movements like running. To maximize your running potential training your hip abductors and extensors along with oblique abdominal muscles will give you much improved stride and cadence and prevent most common running injuries.
Training for Speed, agility and plyometrics at least once a week improves your running quality to a large extent. So, drills involving short sprints, hops, box jumps are helpful to improve your system to gain advantage of these training methods.
Hope this information helps you. Happy running!