Spencer White runs Saucony’s Human Performance & Innovation Lab outside of Boston and knows practically everything about gait and stride and how to run. What he knows can fill a book and drives a company, but, in the name of expediency, we boiled all of that down into five tips, you can try now, to get tuned up for your race day, whenever that is. Without further ado, White’s five tips for maximizing your next run.
5. Less out front, more out back. This means the power in your stride isn’t coming from your arms out in front of your chest or an extended leg kick, energy return happens behinds you. Both from the Achille’s tendon, and the swing in your arm.
4. You probably don’t need yoga. Yoga is terrific, arguably, but you most likely have enough mobility for running from running. Good hip flexibility is important, and that can be done by stretching. Yoga is fine. But think about your hips.
3. Stretch your hips everyday. Kneel down and slide your leg back and rotate your pelvis forward, and hold each pose for three minutes on each leg. Slow everything down and spend time in each position. If you rush the stretch, it won’t work.
2. Practice your balance. A runner should be able to stand on one leg, twist, and not fall over. And you should be able to do this on both legs. Work on this, practice, and gain control of your hips. Balancing exercises can also be done everyday.
1. Relax about foot strike. With the minimal shoe trend basically over, people have eased up on their insistence to land on your toes. After all, 85-90% of the population are heel strikers and, guess what? That’s fine. Just pay attention to landing with your lower leg vertical—keep your ankle under your knee when landing, and wear Saucony.