Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 24, 2008

How to run better?

On Wednesday evening I went on my first run since getting back to Cali, and my first run in over a week. I’ve had a tough time getting over jet lag and stuff, so I held off running till then. But the weather was so perfect (like, 80 something degrees) I just had to get out there in the sunshine!

I ran along my new favorite path on the More Mesa (Read Previous Post). If you need a refresher of what it looks like….

This is where I run

This is where I run

It was an OK run. My hamstrings were SO sore from that GREAT yogadownload.com class (read about it here) so it made it more challenging to get into a smooth rhythm. And my lungs were not really cooperating either. It just felt harder than usual. But I had some great music, and it was so warm and pretty, so I kept on going! After a while it did start to feel a lot more natural.

One surprising thing happened: someone was walking their dog behind me, and I guess the dog (fairly large white Labrador or something) thought I was there to play with him! He ran up to me and stuck his head in between my legs from behind! I had no idea there was a dog behind me, so it nearly scared the life out of me! 🙂 haha.

Surprise! haha, this isnt the exact dog that scared me, but it kinda looks like him, and I thought it was a cute photo!

Surprise! haha, this isn't the exact dog that scared me, but it kinda looks like him, and I thought it was a cute photo!

All in all, I did a pretty short run; only 30 minutes, cause my body was still tired. But I did some research about proper running techniques. I thought, maybe I just need better form? I’m going to try some of the techniques when I go running this evening.

Running Techniques: (technique is NOT the same as style)

The head is in a comfortable, upright position. While your head should be upright, your eyes should gaze down to where you’re running. Your head weights 13 lbs (!) so keeping your head down weighs you down! An erect head allows for your neck and jaw to relax, and will allow your shoulders to relax so your arms can pump back and forth.

Arms should have limited side-to side movement/swing. It should go straight back, because the backward pump is what powers the motion forward. For distance running, your elbows should be at 90 degrees or less. Hands should generally stay above hips. Your fists should not cross the center line of your body when pumping forward.

A slight forward lean will help you against gravity! Keep your chest up to breathe better.

The legs should be relaxed, and your foot should hit the ground near your mid-foot. Avoid shuffling and dragging your back leg. To increase stride length, increase your push-off force on your back leg instead of trying to reach farther with your front leg.

Sources: This Great Article

Health Benefits:

Running “improves your aerobic fitness by increasing the activity enzymes and hormones that stimulate the muscles and the heart to work more efficiently” according to This Article

Running burns calories! Running one mile can burn up to 30% more calories than walking one mile (according to recent research, but it’s not the final word) Running outdoors burns slightly more calories than running inside on a treadmill, because there is no air resistance to overcome indoors. But setting the treadmill at a 1% incline can solve this problem!

It’s and elixir: Running can slow the effects of aging! (yay 🙂 )

So hopefully, some of these tips will be helpful for my run today. We’ll see how that goes.

Does anyone out there have some helpful running hints? I would love to hear them 🙂

Look at this cute little baby run in his diapers!

Look at this cute little baby run in his diapers!

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