Monday, September 30, 2013

The Secret to Running Faster and Longer

One of the most over looked element in running is the arm swing.  During my college track career at the University of Florida, I competed at the highest level and my secret to running faster and longer was perfecting my arm swing.  I learned when I started to fatigue that I should focus on my arm swing which resulted in running faster and longer.  The smoother and more controlled my arms were throughout the running arm swing the faster I ran.  I discovered the running arm swing consist of three points:

Relax Hands   

The hands should always be relaxed throughout the arm swing to minimize tension. Think about running with an egg in your hand.  The hands should always be in a vertical position basically having the thumb up to eliminate the hands from crossing the body mid-line. 

Arm Angle
The arm works like a pendulum.  The shorter the pendulum the faster it will move and the legs will follow.  Everyone talks about the arms being at a 90° angle throughout the running arm swing.  This is half true because at the top of the swing it is close to about 70° - 80° and at the bottom of the swing the arms will drop to about 110°-120° degrees to create balance.   

Shoulder Swing
A common problem with runners is tight shoulders.  Tight shoulder usually results from poor arm movement which makes it harder to breath.  This can be corrected simply by making sure the runner is swinging their arms instead of the holding them stagnate.  Make sure the runner drives the elbows back slightly, the arm should not pass the hips on the down swing and on the upswing the hands should not pass the chin. The control of the arms throughout the running arm swing will create speed and endurance.    
© Byrdband 2103

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