How to prevent and ease pain whilst running
If you suffer foot cramps, sudden jolts and pain whilst running then there are things you can do to try to reduce this. For instance you can wear orthotic insoles and improve your running technique. By just doing these two things you can vastly reduce the discomfort and pain while you run. So how do you improve your running technique and how can orthotic insoles help?
Let me first tell you about how improving your running technique will help. If you have a bad running technique then this can cause unnecessary force and jolts when your feet hit the ground, not only that, if when you run the impacts of hitting the ground with your feet becomes too powerful then this can affect your run. There are a few ways you can improve your run and stop this from happening; try to run softer and be lighter on your feet whilst running.
Here are a few things that will help you run better and improve your technique to reduce unnecessary strain, discomfort and more importantly injury.
Good posture is key to running as slouching or having a hunched back can cause back pain and may even cause strain on the leg muscles. Standing upright and straight will help you breathe more openly and freely meaning more oxygen will be able to be delivered to your cells and reduce the build-up of lactic acid. Good posture includes keeping your head up looking forward at all times as looking down will cause strain on your neck muscles.
A trick many people use to improve posture is imaging that a string is tied on the top of their head and they are being pulled upwards kind of like a puppet.
When your feet hit the ground
Many pro runners will land on their forefoot instead of their heel when running; this is because landing on the forefoot there is a less likely chance of injury and not only that it helps improve speed while running. Some people naturally run like this whereas other will run on their heel, if you run on your heel it is best to slowly start running on the forefoot as quickly changing running style can cause injury. Running shoes are available to help people slowly change running styles from heel to forefoot.
Over striding is where your foot lands in front of the knee and this isn’t very good for your joints! It is not good because when your feet lands in front of the knee then it is out of your centre of gravity and this can cause injury, a better way of running would be to instead run so that the foot lands under the knee instead. Something that I mentioned above is too run light on your feet, do not hit the ground with force and the aim is to make your feet spend as little as possible time on the ground as you can.
How your arms move is just as important as how your legs move. It helps improve not only speed but balance and rhythm as well.
You must relax your shoulders as best you can as tension can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulders while running plus it can limit the movement in the arms. You elbow should be bent at around a 90 degree angle just like all the pro runners. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should move your arm with the shoulders and not your forearms.
Breathing is very important whilst you run as being out of breathe while running won’t get you very far. Breathing more effectively can help you run faster and for longer. Breathing will also reduce the amount of lactic acid in your body when you cells become starved of oxygen. To improve your breathing remember to inhale via your nose and exhale from your mouth. Breathe with the diaphragm and always breathe deeply and openly.
Wearing orthotic insoles
Even the pro runners wear running orthotics when they run (and when they are not running). Running insoles will help to cushion your feet, reduce unnecessary shocks that can cause weakening in your tissues and even cause arthritis overtime. By spreading pressure that could build up so that it is evenly spread throughout the foot and heel it means that this build-up of pressure cannot cause damage, discomfort or pain.
Insoles also help to reduce the risk of getting such problems as plantar fasciitis as your plantar fascia will be better supported. Because the insoles help to reduce sudden jolts in your legs because they act as a shock absorber it reduces strain and fatigue that can occur in your joint meaning you can run faster for longer.