“Am I doing this right? Am I running properly?” Something I was asked by a Vixen at RUNCLUB last week. Sounds like a silly question doesn’t it? We run from such a young age that it seems a natural thing to increase your speed from a walk and there you have it, you’re running! However its not that simple when you consider lots of people do injure themselves on a regular basis. This is usually a result of improper technique, especially when taking on long distances or not conditioned enough.
Have you ever given your running technique much thought? What part of your foot is hitting the ground first and where in relation to the rest of your body is it striking? Whilst a fancy pair of (properly fitted) runners will help your running form, it’s your barefoot running technique that you need to concentrate on to prevent injury and get the most out of your runs. So when you do slip your runners on and tackle those kilometers you are doing it correctly.
Beach runs are great for this! That’s why at Bondi Vixen we make you do it as your warm up at every class!
**Ahh the light bulb switches on!!** Sand running has so many benefits. The sand takes out the harsh impact that road running can cause and the varying degrees of softness of the sand means you can work on your technique and keep challenging yourself. It also strengthens all the supporting muscles around you feet aswell as the smaller muscles in your feet.
I’ll admit i’m only a recent convert to soft sand running myself, since moving to Australia. This is partly to do with my beach back home, Brighton Beach being a pebble beach (yes this still counts as a beach in the UK). But it also took a lot to adapt my running style to the different terrain. Vix on the other hand grew up in Bondi Beach so she’s well known for doing her daily laps on the beach as her cardio routine. As Vix says, “its like moving meditation for me and very grounding having bare feet on the sand”.
Soft sand running will challenge you in different ways to road running as you are utilizing different muscles, challenging your core strength and working harder as you have to pull your foot out of the sand in motion. There are many different styles of running, but its important to concentrate on your foot hitting the ground directly underneath your body, rather than in front so as to avoid over-striding. This will reduce the impact your foot is taking when hitting the ground and reduce the risk of injury. Stand up tall and proud when running, leaning forward too much can put unnecessary stress on your joints and hip flexors.
Incorporating a beach run into your training schedule will drastically improve your running style as well as being a fantastic cardio/fat burning workout at the same time. As your muscles get stronger, you’ll naturally develop a better running technique, which will enhance your road running and allow you to smash out those kilometers more efficiently.
As you know I lead a Vixen RUNCLUB every Friday at 6am and its FREE to all Vixens, so book in a class and see YOU at the beach!
Keep on Running Vixens!