Don't run so uptight. Running relaxed equals fast!
It seems strange, but the harder you strain, the slower you go. Running relaxed will help you to go fast. You have to find the balance between pushing yourself very hard, but keeping your body fluid and relaxed.
Distance running is tough. It is even tougher when you don't know how to handle the fatigue and discomfort during a run or a race. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic coach who taught me how to be relaxed and fast during a race or workout. Here are my top three tips on how to run relaxed and fast.
Want the details on each tip. Brilliant. Knowledge is power. You'll be running faster than ever in no time.
1. The goal of running during a race or getting through a great workout is obviously go as fast as you can. The only problem with distance running is you have to conserve energy so you don't use it all up until the very end. You can't just sprint the whole thing. A great runner can run relatively fast using a minimal amount of energy. How is this done? Well you need to relax your upper body and face.
When I first started running, I would strain my face and tighten up my shoulders if I was tired. This is bad. When your body starts tensing up, it is using energy and it also slows you down. Running is a fluid motion. You can't strain your upper body and still stay fluid.
2. Stay positive mentally. You have to be thinking positive during a tough workout or race. If you focus on your fatigue or the pain, you will instantly slow down. I always have a phrase or motto I say to myself when the running gets tough. I say, "relaxed and fast," or "stay smooth."
Before the race or workout even begins, I have this motto ready. I know part of the run will be tough, but I will be prepared to deal with those feelings.
3. Have a plan. You won't strain as much if you know what's coming. Whenever I have a race, I prepare mentally and physically. I come up with a race plan. I know what I want to do, and I also know I am not going to feel good the whole way through. Expect it to be tough, and when it does I can stay running relaxed and fast.
Here's a video about planning for a race so you can be mentally tough.
Races and workouts require you to push yourself. Relax your upper body and push yourself mentally. Know where you are during the run distance wise and have a plan of attack.
I hope these tips will help you to run much better. Now get out there and stay smooth. Run relaxed and fast!