David Siik is the creator of new Precision Running classes at Equinox gym in London’s Kensington. His running tips were so useful to us we had to share them with you
This week I tried new Precision Running classes at the chi chi Equinox gym in London’s Kensington. They’ve been created by David Siik, a former track and field athlete turned running trainer and widely acknowledged as a leading running authority. Siik has created a BITE method of running designed to minimise injury while getting maximum burn and also to help people realise how good running feels when it’s done properly. During the class I was heartened to hear him talking the finer details of correct running technique. Here are six of Siik’s running tips to help you run safer and smarter.
1. Use your arms as a lever
When you run, arms should be parallel to the legs and should never move across the body. Keeping the hands relaxed and arms bent at right angles, move the arms forward and back on the same plane as the legs. This is what powers your run.
2. When you’re warming up, do different moves with your feet
Don’t just run on the treadmill to warm up, vary your lower body actions to get the blood flowing. Little shuffles, high knees and kicking the feet to your bum are all good warm up moves for the early part of your run.
3. Lean forward when you’re running on an incline or hill
Runners that lean back when they’re running on inclines tend to use their spine for power – this is not good. Leaning forward is more natural and means your power comes from the core – much better.
4. Run half way down your treadmill
I worry about becoming the next hilarious YouTube video idiot falling off a treadmill so I stay right up the controls end, practically eating the dashboard. No, no, no, says Siik. Running near the front of the treadmill makes you hunch and compress your upper body in trying to fit yourself neatly into the more narrow space, as most treadmills are narrow at the top. Stick to running half way down your treadmill and you’ll suddenly wonder why you feel so much taller – it instantly changes your running posture.
5. Lift the knees during fast intervals
This might sound obvious now, but personally when I am flailing about at high speed simply trying to stay upright during an interval, I never do it. But try it just once and you’ll see how much more confident it makes you feel when you’re sprinting.
6. Do dynamic stretching after your run
From an effectiveness perspective that holding your calf stretch static for a minute after running thing? It’s over. Now, runners are being encouraged to stretch dynamically as it cools the muscles slowly while also distributing blood evenly throughout the body. For example, instead of doing that typical quadricep stretch everyone does holding the foot to the butt, try bending your knee at a right angle in front of you and then swinging it behind you a few times before making circles with the knee out to the side to open up the hip flexor muscles. The idea is to basically move the joints while you stretch the muscles. Another is making circles with the feet to stretch the ankles, as though you’re drawing circles with a marker pen between your toes. Or swinging the leg front and back and side to side like a pendulum a few times. Needless to say, hold on to something.
Follow David Siik @DavidSiik
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