Beleive it or not, one of the things that can help you improve your speed significantly is running relaxed. Something that we tend to do is tighten up if we feel as if we are under pressure whilst running. It might be that we are losing in a race or that we feel that we need to run faster to beat our personal record time.
You will never reach your full speed potential if you run with a tense body. So you must train yourself to run relaxed and in a way where you can maximise your horizontal force output so that you can run as quickly as possible.
Here are a few things that you can do to help you stay relaxed.
Focus on a single point in front of you.
You want to focus on reaching the end point. Choose a point such as a pole or a marker and focus only on reaching that point.
Focus on bringing your elbows backwards.
Many athletes pump their arms and keep their fists clenched. Instead, focus on driving your elbows backwards as far as possible in a relaxed manner.
Focus on keeping your body fluid.
No part of your body should be tense. Just stay as relaxed as possible when you are running.
Run your own race.
You need to focus on executing your own race in order to win the race. Focus on executing the different phases of your running so that you will drive, accelerate and maintain your speed for the duration of the race.
Focus on executing your technique.
This is the most important thing that you can do. You must focus on executing your technique so that you will run as relaxed as possible. Your technique will be what you have practiced with the A and B steps, as well as other running drills that you have practiced.
The conditioning training that you’ve been doing should allow you to run faster simply by executing more power and having more speed endurance.
Focus on your breathing.
Concentrate on the way you inhale and exhale as you run.
Develop your conditioning to allow yourself to run more relaxed.
The better your fitness and conditioning, the easier you will find it is to run relaxed. Strengthen your muscles (especially your core) and your strength endurance so that you can run with more intensity for longer.
Are there some other ways or methods that you use to relax whilst you run? Let us know in the comments below.