I don’t run a lot these days. I’m very busy with work and kids, and the weather is not so great. When I do run it’s mainly on a treadmill. Yet my performance has stayed the same for the past few weeks. I run an hour, with a six minute cool down period at the end where I do three or four 45 second stretches at a faster pace (between 6:27 and 5:55). I always end up going 7.5 miles during that one hour and six minute time. I never feel stiff or achy afterwards, even if I haven’t run for several days before the session.
Of course, I’m convinced that it is my good form that keeps me consistent and injury-free. During my days off, I often do the one-legged balancing exercises I’ve mentioned before. Can you remain still when balancing one one leg? Do you feel the small muscles in you feet and ankles working really hard to keep you from falling over? Is it easier to balance on one leg than the other?
If you answered yes to these questions, it means that you will more than likely also be slightly off balance with each step when you run. I worked to correct my imbalances when standing on one leg. I’m sure this has helped me be a more efficient runner.
When working to become more balanced, it’s helpful to notice how changes in your posture, arm carriage, position of the shoulders and other aspects of your body affect your balance. You may find that advice you’ve been given or read about to improve your running is actually not helpful in improving your balance. Figuring out what makes you more balanced and efficient is better than sticking with some supposedly good advice you may have received.