As Physical Training Leader with military experience, and an amateur runner, I have gained significant knowledge and experience that have helped me improve not only my own physical performance but also that of people around me. If you’re familiar with the military, chances are you know about the mandatory physical assessment they take periodically. If you do, then you definitely know that of all the components of the test, running is the most challenging to military members.
Over the past four years, I have run over twenty marathons, a few ultra-marathons, and lots of all the ones in between. From these personal experiences and all the training I had the opportunity to benefit from being in the military, a few things stood out to me that you too can use to improve your running.
Here are six tips I have used to improve my running that you can apply to take your running game to the next level.
When you don’t feel good in your skin, that affects everything you do. Often, we do pretty well with choosing what we wear depending on the weather and external conditions but most of the time the fabric of the gear we wear is overlooked. Not only does getting the right fabric keep you comfortable and dry but most importantly, it helps increase blood flow to give you peak muscle performance!
The active-wear industry has never been so diverse as it is in this day and age. From the premium-wear to the most affordable apparel, there are so many brands out there to choose from. However, not all of them understand the fundamentals of high-tech fabric and what type of fabric is appropriate for apparel made for running. This type of attention to what you wear is not to be for professional runners only, you and I too can get the right gear at a very affordable cost when we understand the basics of what makes the perfect clothing for running. Get a gear made out of a fabric that offers the following features: Moisture-Wicking, compression, and breathability.
Warming up before your running sessions is unfortunately so underrated in the amateurs’ world. I recommend finding what works for you but it cannot be “no warm-up”.
I found that a couple of four hundred meters reps at around 10K paces a few minutes before starting a workout, or around fifteen minutes before a race helped the start feel a little easier without tiring me out appreciably.
Keep your back straight, your head high, and centered between shoulders. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and parallel to the ground. Then lean forward when running to take advantage of gravity. This might feels weird at first but the more you train applying it the more natural it will become to you.
4. Arms and Hands
A 90-degree elbow is the ideal but not realistic, you are not a robot. But, keep your elbows as close as possible to that. With your hands gliding past your waistline. Pumping your arms at a faster rate allows faster leg turnover.
This refers to how, where, and when the foot hits the ground. Your foot should strike the ground from heel to toe. And you want to create a spring-bouncing effect at the tip of your toes.
6. Repetition and Consistency
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”
– Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”
Here at dooko, our goal is to design and produce functional and practical apparel but stylish at the same time. Whether you collect your miles with marathons or joggings, we have designed and developed the perfect shorts for the dream builders just like yourself. “The Extra Miler” is our first active-wear shorts that we will be launching shortly. We have waited for so long because we wanted it to go beyond your expectations. Being a runner myself I have tried several shorts from a variety of brands. Including the shorts designed by the United States Air Force. Each of these shorts had something great that I liked but not all the things the runner in me needed. So, I got Team dooko to work. And, after two years of sampling and trials, we approved the final prototype eighteen months ago. Testing the approved prototype of “The Extra Miler” has been some of the best adventures I’ve ever undertaken. In “The Extra Miler”, I ran five marathons, fourteen 5Ks, seven 10Ks, and did a 50 miles road biking. I have also run the Centennial trail in Spokane, Washington State from the beginning to the end at the state line for a total of 33.5 miles. And I did that three times. And each time, “The Extra Miler” came out of the washer undefeated.
Not only did the desire to design and test the best shorts help me set new personal records, but most importantly, “The Extra Miler” proved its durability, breathability, versatility, and mobility to perfectly handle whatever you take it through.
By Kofi Douhadji