Runners exude an excessive amount of energy when running because their upper body is tense. This extra tension can make a regular run feel twice as hard. Runners typically tense up when running up hills and at a fast, steady pace. It’s important to learn to relax and loosen your grip.
The obvious sign of tension can be found in the shoulders and the hands. Over longer distances the shoulders will get sore, causing great discomfort. To train the body to relax try these two training tips:
- When hill training, run with potato chips in your hands. Hold a chip in each hand between the thumb and index finger. If the chip breaks, you’re clenching too hard. Loosen your grip.
- On long, steady runs, roll a piece of paper like a baton. If the paper is crumpled at the end of your run, your running is too tense. Back off the pace and loosen your grip.
As you loosen your grip, your runs become more effortless, more enjoyable, and reduce pain and injuries.