Running with ease

No pain, no gain.

Motivational? Maybe. Sound mechanical running theory? No.

This whole 80’s approach of ‘no pain, no gain’ has led us down a path to injury, overtraining, and, well, pain. And, given the choice between running with ease, as the body is designed, with ‘flow’, and running with force, against human dynamics, pushing through pain, who among us would choose the latter?

It’s simply inaccurate to believe that running must be painful to be beneficial. In fact, when we run as our bodies are designed, with ease and in keeping with the flow of our natural mechanics, and with sensible training, we can enjoy running and even perform at a higher – and faster! – level.

Take, for example, the spine. Many of us were taught to believe that we should keep our shoulders and hips squared when we run. We’re told that movement of our arms and pelvis is unnecessary movement that requires extra energy. What actually happens when we run in this manner is that by counteracting the natural rotation of the spine during running, we have to exert extra effort to work against our natural mechanics.

There are many benefits of running with ease, including:

  • more enjoyable running
  • the feeling of ‘flow’ as you run
  • lower injury rate due to proper mechanics
  • faster running times with less effort
  • a longer running career

So, the next time you go out for a run, focus on running with ease, with flow. Take deep breaths using your diaphragm muscles instead of pulling and pushing air in and out. Allow your spine to take the lead, the shoulder and pelvic girdles following along, the arms and legs along for the ride.

Enjoy your run. Run like a child. Run with ease.

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