How To Become a Faster Runner
(Secret It’s all in the hips)
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
Want to become a faster runner – little do most runners know that the secret is all in the hips! Many runners tend to begin running intervals when they want to enhance speed during longer runs. In as much as this tactic may work a little bit, it may reach a state of little or no change after a while, if at all it works. To make lasting changes to your speed, it’s essential to implement certain techniques and learn a little bit about your running style. This will ensure that you are sprinting to your utmost potential. One of the key things that affect your speed is how your foot hits the ground during a run. Runners who strike with their heels as opposed to their toes or mid-foot have the most difficulty accelerating just by doing intervals. Believe you me, this form of running can limit you a great deal in terms of speed. Each time that you strike with your heel, you are actually putting the brakes on during your run. This motion involves the hamstrings as well as muscles which actually hamper the forward momentum, thereby slowing you down no matter how hard you may try to run fast. The secret to going fast is in the hip. Full hip extension is the key to running fast. And the heel strike running style makes it nearly impossible to achieve full hip extension. This is the one thing that fast runners do not want you to know.
How to Increase your Hip Extension
If you are looking for different ways to enhance your speed, now you understand the need to pay attention to the manner in which your foot touches the ground and the backward movement of your thigh, in other words hip extension. However, it takes more than just presetting your legs to land on their toes when running. You also need to change something else about your running style, or you’ll most likely return to the previous heel striker running especially when you lose your concentration. Making small changes in the manner in which your foot touches the ground when running will surely not change the rest of the body that still requires you to strike with your heel. You also need to pay attention to the strength and extensibility of the hips.
Slow Runners Could Be Using Their Hips in the Wrong Direction
A running performance analysis is an excellent way to detect the real reason why a person cannot run fast. Using cutting edge programs and equipment, this analysis breaks down every detail of someone’s sprinting ability. Of all the candidates who undergo running analysis, nearly 100% of the time there is dysfunction at the hips that the runner didn’t even realize they had. Many people think that running with speed is all about increasing the paces, which is far from the truth. They unnecessarily extend their legs as far out in front as they can, ending up bounding instead of sprinting. If you want to run faster, you should use the hips in the right direction. Do not strain your legs trying to extend them as far out in front as you can, instead try to kick them back as far as you can. This will increase the hip extension, resulting in greater propulsion. Most slow runners do not extend their hips to the required limit of 30 degrees. Instead, their hip extensions tend to vary between 2 and 8 degrees. Without adequate hip extension, you certainly cannot discover your full running potential.
Running Analysis Can Be Helpful
Working on improving hip extension can be such a challenging task especially if you do not know the specifics of why you are lacking hip extension. Maybe it could be lack of range of motion, lack of strength or even pain. An intensive running analysis can help you answer all of these questions. Also, there are a few stretches as well as strengthening workouts that can help with hip extension. These workouts can enable you to achieve maximal hip extension when you run. And with this, the feet and the rest of the lower body can work correctly, making you the fastest sprinter you can be. Contrary to the popular belief, not all fast runners are naturally fast, some have simply trained themselves to be fast just like you too can.