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John's Running Tips

Running FAQ

Is there a perfect running style and form?

Each runner is unique in terms of body shape, size and gait. Generally, the recommended form is to run tall with your body perpendicular to the running surface. Keep your head in line with your body and eyes focused ahead. Keep your hands lightly closed, moving in rhythm with the cadence of your legs. Try to run lightly on your feet, making as little noise as possible, with a quick leg turnover rate. Lastly, smile to stay relaxed (and to confuse your competition).

What is the right way to breathe?

Keep it comfortable and natural. Breathe in through your nose and mouth, then purse your lips and fully breathe out. Think of it as belly breathing.

How can runners deal with the dreaded side stitch?

Typically, a side stitch is an indicator you're running too fast or too far for your current level of fitness, and your diaphragm is working too hard. To alleviate some of the discomfort, ease up on your pace, stay relaxed, and concentrate on pursing your lips and exhaling fully with each breath.

Is running a good way to lose weight?

Running burns calories, and it can help re-shape and firm your body. The key to long-term success is finding balance and keeping a positive self-image. Think of yourself as an athlete and make your lifestyle choices accordingly. Focus on your overall health, wellness and fitness rather than the number on the scale.

Do runners need to take salt tablets?

No. Our North American diet provides more salt than is required. Stick to a well-rounded diet and read labels carefully, as many foods are high in sodium.

What causes a black toe?

Usually it is the result of running longer than your regular distance, running for extended periods downhill, or running faster than you normally would. Be sure to check your shoe fit, keep your toenails trimmed and increase your intensity or distance by no more than 10% per week.

How can I stay injury-free?

Be kind to yourself. Don't push yourself too hard, too much, too often, too soon or too fast! Challenge yourself, but be patient as you follow a gentle, yet progressive program. Avoid dramatic increases in speed, distance and strength workouts.

How much improvement can I expect in my running?

Most runners show improvement for up to 10 to 12 years. For example, an 18-year-old should see a continual improvement in performance until age 30. If you're a returning athlete at age 50, you'll continue to improve until you're in your sixties. The key is consistency in your training with an emphasis on endurance, strength and speed training.

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