Running Hack: 5 Simple Ways to Run Smoothly and Efficiently

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Want to run faster and more efficiently? Dig into these 5 tips and learn how to make your next run as smooth as buttah. 

Editor’s note: This is a part of a weekly series featuring training, running and motivational tips from marathoner @trackclubbabe. Tune in every Tuesday for her newest tip. 

On my vision board I’ve pasted the words ‘RUN SMOOTH.’ I constantly look at it for inspiration. So how do you – and why should you – run smoothly? I like to use cues to help encourage me.

Whenever I want to adjust my form, I like to recall and implement tangible tips to help me get the job done. You can know what your form should look like, but if you don’t know how to apply what you know, nothing will change. These five tips helped me immensely and I hope they help you, too.

Imagine You’re Gliding

Pretend you’re running on ice. You wouldn’t stomp, would you? Nope! You’d glide – and that’s exactly what you want to do.

Relax Your Body

Or at least try to relax! It’s hard to run smoothly when you’re tensed up like you’re in a car crash waiting for impact (not the way you should run!). I do a check on myself as I run to ensure I’m relaxed. I start with my face and jaw and relax them. Then I move to my shoulders, arms, hands and so on. My goal is to make my limbs feel relaxed and loose. Relaxed feels EFFORTLESS. Tense wastes energy.

Be Light on Your Feet

Think LIGHT steps and focus on bringing your feet back up from the pavement, trail or treadmill quickly, rather than stomping your feet down forcefully and keeping them on the ground for too long. You’re not an elephant, you’re a gazelle.

Focus on a Mid-Foot Strike

Focus on a mid-foot strike. This keeps your movement fluid, whereas a heel strike could have more of a braking effect and keep your body from getting into a flow. Smooth movement is constant and flowing. Form that disrupts your energy flow doesn’t help you run smoothly.

Bring the Heat

Imagine you are running through hot coals. You wouldn’t stay on the ground long if you were, would you? You would run light and quick.

trackclubbabeAuthor Bio: @trackclubbabe, AKA Kimberly Clark Underwood, started running in 2012 to see if she could train for a marathon & fell in love with running. She went from hoping to run 10 minute miles in the marathon to aiming for a sub 3 marathon. She posts the highs & lows of training + everything that has helped her to improve on her IG. 

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