This article was published on July 7th, 2014
Smart and experienced runners have spent countless hours and hundreds or thousands of hours with their feet pounding the pavement. They train for months or years at a time and have many races under their belts. It’s something they love to do.
Many of these veteran runners run take advantage of all kinds of technology. But for beginner and intermediate runners, they need to put running form and breathing before technology. It’s perfect form and being able to listen to your body that is most important, especially for beginner runners and those looking to improve their capabilities.
Listening to your body can allow a runner to take less walk breaks, run further distances and increase speed. It’s important to understand and have a solid foundation to the mechanics of running before trying to make improvements.
For example, the first 10k race you run, you won’t be trying to improve your time, because you haven’t raced that distance before, so you have nothing to compare to in order to be able to make improvements. Train for a 10k race following a dedicated race training program, run the race, and then you can begin to make changes to your training program to help you improve on your next race. Each race is an opportunity to improve over the previous. It’s like taking a test over and over, and over. The more times you take it and the more you study, the better you’ll be able to refine your knowledge and skills.
Running improvements can come from training programs, use of a training clinic or coach, cross training, nutritional programs, and use of technology devices like pace watches, heart rate monitors and music.
Remember, the perfect for will have hands on inclines (punching upwards), flats (at 90 degrees), and down hills (down / behind you). Keeping your hips tucked in the entire time (core training at the gym), keeping your shoulders over your hips, and your head always looking at the horizon (never looking down), will all improve speed
For beginner and intermediate runners, it’s good to wear a heart rate monitor and pace watch, but only to be used as a tracking and monitoring tool, not as a guide for speed or distance. Over time, as you move from beginner to intermediate runner, and then an advanced runner, a pace watch will be used to help achieve new goals (intermediate runners), and improve speed, reduce heart rate and overall running efficiencies (advanced runners).