The 5 B’s of Becoming a Better Runner
Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting out, the 5 B's of becoming a better runner are important for all running athletes to remember. These tips will help you run more efficiently, run faster, and enjoy it more. Don't miss the video at the end of the article, or click here to watch it now on YouTube.
Do you have good abdominal strength and control? We are talking more specifically about abdominal control especially below the belly button. Your arm and opposite leg are moving in the same direction at the same time, in a diagonal pattern. When running, your right arm and left leg move forward at the same time, or at least they should.
If you don't have enough abdominal strength and coordination, you may get too much rotation in the upper body while running. This can cause rib pain or mid back pain. The fix? Bird dog.
A lot of runner's don't have one. Ever heard of runner's butt? They overuse their hamstrings and quads during their run and turn off their glutes. These runners have a problem with stability when striking the ground. Those forces move up through their body and their glutes don't turn on to stabilize the pelvis and back. We also sit too much at desk jobs for example and that position lends itself to poor glute activation. The fix? Glute bridge, warrior pose, and hip extension on bench with foot and knee on bench.
The big toe is big for a reason. it provides the most amount of force on push off. It's the last thing that leaves the ground when walking or running. runners, especially those who have a history of sprained ankles, will often collapse their step and push off the inside of their step. We also don't walk to roll to the outside.
The fix? Calf raises. Balance on one leg and raise up onto your toes. Runners should be able to do that 60 times in a row no problem.
Seems obvious? If you have bad balance, you're going to be experiencing that bad balance thousands of steps over and over, which may lead to injury. Think of the foot as a tripod. The three primary points of contact are the base of the heel, the base of the big toe, and the base of the little toe. Those are the three points of contact that should be able to contact the ground equally.
You should be able to balance on one foot for more than a minute without seeing any collapsing to the inside or outside. If you don't have good balance, everything up the chain will twist and I will end up seeing you in the office for knee pain or hip pain. Before or after your run, practice a 1 minute hold on each foot.
Shallow breathing doesn't provide enough oxygen for running. Remember to breath through the nose, that gives us larger breaths and fills our lungs with more oxygen. When you start running, you should be able to hold a conversation. If you are running fast enough that you can't hold a conversation, you are running too fast and you will be using accessory muscles for breathing, which can lead to poor breathing habits.
I hope you enjoy these tips and they lead you in the right direction to becoming a better runner. Watch all the exercises below!