Can good running posture make you faster?
“The hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone….” Remember this song as a kid? This might have been the start to understanding the connection and relationship between each segment of the body and it’s parts. The thing is, if there’s a piece out of sink there’s a chance that you aren’t using your body to it’s true capacity. Posture Distortions can be holding you back and set you on the road to injury while running. They can also be inhibiting the amount of force your muscles are able to produce and limit a full range of motion.
I’ve pulled this from a recent article I wrote on posture in general:
By creating good posture or alignment throughout the day you will set yourself up for good posture while running.
How should “it” look:
Your body should be relaxed. Head looking forward toward the horizon, or the finish line! Believe it or not your feet don’t go faster if you watch them, I’ve tried it.
Your shoulders! This might be the most important of all the pieces. If you feel tension in your neck, upper back or lower back after your run pay close attention here. Your shoulders should be relaxed and away from the ears. They should also ride level and not dip down with your stride. If you feel them creaping up during a run shake out your arms and release the tension.
Hands and arms: ”What do I do with my hands?” This is the most common question from new runners. It’s back to being relaxed and efficient. Your arms should be in concert with your stride and the movement of your body. They should move naturally from front to back to keep you moving forward. Your hands relaxed, not fisted or unnaturally straight. Our hands naturally close in toward the palm and this is the way they should ride while running too.
Torso: If your gaze is to the horizon and your shoulders are away from the ears then your body will follow. You should be standing(running) nice and tall with a nice, straight back with a slight forward tilt. Hunching over can decrease lung capacity and promote injury to the lower back and knees.
Legs: Unless you’re sprinting, you should have a natural knee bend and height Your foot should land right underneath your body with each stride, as if you just stood on one leg (with perfect posture). If your foot is in front of the body your stride may be too long. The key here is to turn-over the leg for quickness instead of unnaturally stretching out the stride. Stretching the stride puts too much pressure on the knee and hips. Undoubtedly you’ve heard the term “land soft”. Be sure to have a slightly bent knee to land on and decrease the impact on the body.
The landing: You running should be light and bouncy. If you land at the center of your foot and roll forward you’ll get maximum push and use of the calve to propel you forward.
So, What do you think? Can good posture make you faster? For Sure!! With it, you’ll be running more efficiently, using less energy, increasing lung capacity, creating more force, and decreasing your chances for injury. So stand up tall and get running- We’ve got a race coming up!
Oh and Yes!! You need to stretch!
Never Give Up!
Race #5 & 3rd 5k for 2013: Deciding what race to do for the weekend was a bit confusing. Did I want to travel or did I want to stay close to home???? I decided to stay close to home, participating in the Highland Family YMCA 30th Annual Run.
As you all may know I am a Diabetic trying to get my health better. But for whatever the reason may be, I seem to have gotten sick more than the average. I have asked myself over and over “WHY ME?” I have been on my hands and knees begging to the almighty to get me through this sickness. What I want is to try and help the next person that is going through any struggles and show them that we can Fight and Win this. I share my stories in hopes that it may make a difference in someone’s life or encourage them to NEVER GIVE UP. Running is my therapy. It puts me in another state of mind that only I can understand. Each course has its challenges in which I love to encounter. The beauty that embraces the course makes it even more worth my while.
I have never started a race late but there is always a FIRST for everything. I was 5 minutes late to the run and was a bit discouraged with myself. The first mile and a half was an incline and I thought just TRY and do your best Teresa. I gave it my ALL and once again and was able to glide into the finish line. I came in 4th for my age group and missed 3rd by 20 seconds. I put my head down and said “it was your running mementos that you did not bring with you” that did it. I always have a running memento with me but due to the fact that I was running late, I was not prepared. I can’t beat myself up over it. Next time, I need to make sure that I am better prepared for the upcoming event. We learn as we go. I walked away with a smile on my face with knowing that I put another one in the books and can’t wait to train for my next event…Surf City Half Marathon February 3, 2013
As Always, PEACE, LOVE AND RUN!!!!
Teresa, GOTG Brand Ambassador – Los Angeles
A New Year, A New PR!
Preparing for the Allstate 13.1 Marathon Series – Los Angeles was a little on the tough side because I was a bit under the weather. I had to listen to family and friends who suggested I let my body rest. I had to use alot of mind over matter. I did some training during the week but not as much as I was hoping to get in. Last year I ran the 5k and was determined that if I was coming back to this event that I would be running the half. I put it on the calendar for 2013 and when registration opened up I knew I was there!
The start for this race was at Venice Boardwalk. It was really cold, I think it was between 38 and 40 degrees. I was a bit bundled up but nothing was going to hold me back from doing this run. My motivation for this race was knowing that I was going to be running along the ocean. I love being by the water; it soothes my mind, body and soul. During the race this was my mantra “I CAN DO THIS”. I guess it worked because the next thing I knew I was already at mile 6. I was going at a good pace and was feeling like “I may end up with a better time”. I had my music going and was enjoying this beautiful day.
If I have not already made you aware… I am one of the Los Angeles Ambassadors for the Girls On The Go Run Series. Juri is also an Ambassador for the San Diego area. We were representing for the organization at this event. I tried to meet up with Juri before the race to give hugs and send off “Good Luck” but there was too many people. I knew that somewhere along the run that we would meet up. Well about mile 9.5 the hugs were delivered and “Good Luck” was expressed. I continued on with the run and the exhaustion was starting to kick in. We were running against the wind for the remainder of the race. I listened to my body and stuck to my mantra “I CAN DO THIS”. Low and behold it was mile 12, and as I looked to the left, who was there cheering me on… Isabel. That was such a great feeling. I looked at my timing and there was a huge burst of energy that arose because I was going to beat my last week’s half marathon timing.
I gave it my all on the last mile and managed to come in at 2:27:52. Yes, ladies and gents I did my best thus far! I am proud of my accomplishment and did not let being under the weather stop me from doing the run. I wish I would have taken more pictures but keeping my pace was very important to me and I did not want to interrupt it.
Congrats to Juri for running her best time and let’s continue to represent Girls on the Go!
Friday Fit Tip: Get out from behind the camera!
Today I volunteered at my daughter’s school for the JUMP ROPE FOR HEART event. It’s an annual fundraiser at her school for the American Heart Association, where the children raise funds and plan to take part in a 15-minute jump rope event to promote heart health. As a Girl on the Go, I’m a busy lady. This volunteer event happened on a day I had a scheduled training run. That meant I needed to drop my daughter off, run my 3 miles and then be back at the school to help encourage the kids to keep moving for 15 minutes. A Girl on the Go needs to be good at Time Management.
During this event, there were a lot more parents and grown ups volunteering. But I was sad to see that most of them were behind a camera. Yes, they were encouraging the kids to move and dance and jump, but they weren’t doing it themselves. How can we ask the next generation of girls to grow up to be Girls on the Go when we hide behind our cameras? It is important to preserve memories of our kids’ lives. I’m a scrapbooker as well, so I completely understand the need to get that great shot of my daughter jumping rope with her friends. But once you get that shot, you can make such a huge impact on your kids’ futures if you pick up a jump rope and join in. Get out from behind that camera and be a Girl on the Go. Be a Good Example and be a Mentor to your family. And who knows, maybe you and your daughter will be crossing the Finish Line at the next Girls on the Go event just because you put down your camera.
Juri, GOTG Brand Ambassador – San Diego
Food Fact Friday: Cantaloupe
Not only is the beautiful Cantaloupe a delicious fruit, it is an excellent source of Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant – it is essential for vision and is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Cantaloupe is rich in antioxidant flavonoids that help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen free radicals and hence; offer protection against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. There are so many wonderful heath benefits to eating cantaloupe, too many to list, but it makes me excited talking about my favorite fuit. EAT MORE MELON!!
Jamie, GOTG Brand Ambassador – San Diego
Running During the Holiday Break
Today was the last day of school for my two precious children, and like many runner moms out there it came with the dread that this may be the LAST day to run without finding a sitter for the next few weeks. I made it count, pushing myself for my usual 5k and trying a new route. That brought a gift in itself as I found a safer running path than I’d been doing on school days. And as it often does, a hard run brings clarity. I knew that there were other moms like me, who dropped their kids off in running gear and take off at a jog once the bell rings. I resolved to talk to a few of those moms, and perhaps work out a system of shared babysitting with an older sibling while we run together. And we would share accountability to maintain our training during the Winter Break, a time when runs tend to get pushed aside for family time.
Food Fact Friday: Artichokes
Artichokes are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K and are a good source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, and folate. One cooked medium artichoke is just 60 calories and contains 120g of fiber. Also, artichokes supply luteolin and cynarin, phytochemicals that may help lower cholesterol levels. Artichoke is a prebiotic food because it’s a top source of inulin, a fiber that we can digest, and helps maintain “good gut bacteria” that line our intestinal tract and protect us against food-borne pathogens like E. coli.
Next time you have an artichoke, think of all the amazing benefits you are giving your body!
GOTG Brand Ambassadors at the Head to Toe Women’s Expo
A couple weeks ago, our San Diego Brand Ambassadors (Jamie, Stephanie, and Juri) attended the Head to Toe Women’s Expo (Nov.10 & 11) to promote our Girls on the Go – San Diego Half Marathon and Start Training Program (sponsored by the American Heart Association). Our booth hosted raffles, giveaways, and goodies attracting hundreds of women.
The expo included a segment about heart health -”Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heart Disease But Were Afraid to Ask” presented by AVIIR and GUARDaHeart CEO Douglas S. Harrington, M.D. - as well as our first Start Training Clinic presented by Dr. Jason Karp, Head Coach for the American Heart Association Start Training Program.
Here’s a little bit about our coach:
Dr. Jason Karp is a nationally-recognized running coach, 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, and owner of RunCoachJason.com, offering private running coaching and personalized training programs for runners of all levels. He holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology. A prolific writer, he has more than 200 articles published in international running, coaching, and fitness magazines, has authored five books, including Running for Women and Running a Marathon For Dummies, and is a frequent speaker at national fitness and coaching conferences.
We’re so happy to have met those of you who came to our event. And looking forward to meeting more of you girls at our runs!
To keep up-to-date with the latest GOTG news, friend us on Facebook:
Endure Your Next 26.2/13.1
Here is a motivational tip from our Brand Ambassador Teresa:
Picture the Finish Line at the start of the race, think about the end. Imagine yourself coming down that final stretch. All soreness disappears as soon as you hear and see people cheering, clapping, even yelling your name. See yourself pumping your fists under the big banner, smiling wide.
Replay this over and over until you’ve made it a reality!
For more motivational tips, “like” us on Facebook
Food Fact Friday: Almond Butter
It’s Food Fact Friday! One of my staples, Almond Butter!
5 Fun Facts:
1. Almond butter has more protein than peanut butter
2. It is rich in many minerals, one of which being riboflavin, which is important especially if you’re not a red-meat eater!
3. It contains many antioxidants that can improve…wait for it…cardiovascular health!
4. They’re pretty much hypoallergenic. Many people (myself included) have peanut allergies, however, only about 0.2 – 0.5% of the population have almond allergies.
5. Almond butter contains no trans fat, and is low in saturated fat. In fact, the majority of the fat in almond butter is monounsaturated fat which is heart healthy AND can lower cholesterol.
From yours truly, Brand Ambassador Jamie! Have a great weekend and stay healthy!
For more Food Facts and Fit Tips, check out our Girls on the Go Facebook Page.