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How to Identify and Improve Your Weaknesses While Running

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and our body functions are no exception. When running, you will also find your weaker points. These weaknesses are especially obvious when you suddenly start running after not running for a long time. We have sorted out some common running weaknesses to share with you.

You might as well find an opportunity to run and seriously appreciate your feelings. Don’t focus on the numbers on the watch or the results, just focus on your body and senses. This will help us find our weaknesses and formulate corresponding solutions.

Unable to lift legs when running – weak lower abdominal core

If you watch the competition videos of excellent marathon runners, you will usually find that they lift their legs very high, but when it comes to yourself, lifting your legs becomes very difficult. Many people think that when they cannot lift their legs during running, it is due to insufficient strength in the thigh muscles, but in fact, insufficient core strength in the lower abdomen is the bigger reason. Lower abdominal muscle training for runners does not require much absolute strength, but it does require good endurance. Don’t neglect training with small volumes and high reps.

There are many ways to exercise your lower abdominal muscles, such as:

dead bug style

High leg raises, reverse crunches (stand-ups), aerial scissor kicks, and forward/reverse bicycle kicks are all training for the lower abdomen.

Shaky upper body – weak core

If you feel your body swaying from side to side while running, it means that your core is relatively weak, because every time we land, our center of gravity shifts and we need our core muscles to adjust quickly. If the core is not stable enough, the body will find ways to find balance on its own; the core is not strong and cannot change the center of gravity quickly. An obvious external manifestation is body shaking.

The upper body shakes more obviously when running, which is more common among people who have just started exercising and women. For women, it is mainly because their body structure makes their center of gravity higher than that of men. In addition, women themselves have less muscle content. It seems that dynamic balance is relatively difficult to control. If you see a girl with a stable core, steady breath, and light steps when running, she is generally a master among masters.

Core muscle training mainly involves waist, abdominal and back training. In fact, for runners, simple training is enough. It is a pity that more than half of runners do not do strength training at all besides running. This is also an important reason why many runners are prone to injuries.

For example: planks/crunches/squats and their deformation movements are all very suitable training.

Heavy footing – weak calf muscle elasticity

If your steps are heavy while running and the landing sound is loud, it may be that your calf muscles are weak or your Achilles tendon is not elastic enough. When running, the calf is mainly responsible for the movement of the foot. Whether the front foot lands on the ground or the back heel lands and quickly rolls to the forefoot, both methods place high demands on the calf.

You might as well try moving your feet casually. Almost any movement made by the feet comes from the calves. So if our calf strength is weak, our footing when running will appear sluggish.

Strong runners seem to be able to bounce up instantly when their feet hit the ground, while for weaker runners, their feet seem to be stuck to the floor. In some popular parks or playgrounds, you will also see some runners whose feet don’t seem to be. It was the same as his own, it hit the ground with a loud sound. If it weren’t for the fact that today’s running shoes have better cushioning, the chance of injury would probably be greatly increased.

There are many ways to exercise the calves. Here we recommend that when doing calf raise exercises on the steps, you can use the toes forward, toes inward, and toes out. This can stimulate the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles and exercise The parts visited are relatively comprehensive.

In addition, I recommend a method that everyone knows in elementary school: skipping rope. When skipping rope, you mainly land on the balls of your feet. You can also do different tricks. Flexible footwork is inseparable from your calves.

Unable to take a step, poor ductility

The inability to move forward when running is related to strength and extensibility, but poor flexibility is easily overlooked by many people. When we run fast, the stride length will definitely increase. In fact, the flexibility is poor. Stepping is like driving with the brakes on the back of the legs, which is relatively inefficient and laborious.

The tight muscles that limit stride length mainly come from the tight muscles in the back of the thighs and near the hip joints. They can be improved through stretching. However, I think we should start by improving our work and lifestyle, but this is not suitable for modern people. It should be very difficult.

If you could work like this…

My body rises and falls while running, and my thighs lack strength.

In the second half of the marathon, you will find that many people’s movements are deformed, and their bodies are severely undulating up and down. Large fluctuations in the body are largely due to core instability, but it may also be due to overload of the thigh muscles, especially the quadriceps on the front of the thigh.

When running, a whole kinetic chain supports the body. First the soles of the feet, then the ankles, calves, thighs, core muscles…all these parts exert force in sequence to support our bodies. The same is true for running. Looking at the experts, the whole body is very coordinated and looks like a whole body, as if it has escaped gravity. However, some people fluctuate up and down very violently, as if they are dancing.

The amplitude of the upper and lower body movements can be seen as an important indicator of running economy. The smaller the amplitude, the more efficient the running. The larger the amplitude, the more force and energy will be wasted on adjusting the body.

The vertical amplitude range is less than 6.1 cm for elite runners, between 6.1-7.4 cm for excellent runners, and most amateur runners are between 7.5-8.6 cm.

Normal support is mainly from bones, but running to adjust the position of bones and stabilize the body relies on muscles. Even if we just stand tall and straight, the muscles of the body are secretly exerting force. Of course, not to mention the dynamic balance when running.

There are many ways to strengthen thigh strength. As a multi-joint strength training, squats can effectively train the core and kinetic chain at the same time. It is also very effective in training thigh strength. It is no wonder that it is known as the king of lower limb heavy training.

Suggestion: Lift your legs perpendicular to the ground, keep your waist and back in a straight line, and look naturally towards the ground.

Knee pinching and weak gluteus medius. Knee pinching is also a common problem for many beginners, especially first-time runners. It is a running posture that is more likely to cause injuries during running. The function of the knee is that it can only flex and extend in the forward and backward direction, and cannot move left and right. The internal and external movement of the knee actually comes from the rotation near the hip joint, and the muscle responsible for pulling the knee outward is the gluteus medius.

You can do a test like this, squat with one leg, and then see if there is a problem with the knee buckling in. If you squat with one leg and the knee buckles in, it may mean that the gluteus medius is weak. Over time, it may easily cause iliotibial band syndrome, which causes the outside of the knee. pain.

To train the gluteus medius, you can use an elastic band and put it between your legs. Stand on one leg and use the other leg to tilt back at a 45-degree angle. At this time, you will feel the muscles on the back of your butt tightening. It’s the gluteus medius. If you find it difficult to maintain the stability of standing on one leg, you can also wear elastic bands on your thighs and walk sideways (crab walking).

I can’t keep up with my breathing when I run fast, and my cardiopulmonary capacity is weak.

Some people are out of breath when they run a little faster and cannot keep up with their breathing. It is often seen that their basic aerobic endurance is insufficient. The basic training for running still has to be through running itself. You can only remain patient and through accumulated jogging and occasional Strength training is slowly carved out.

As for applying it to an individual, what breathing method is better? This is a natural process. The body will find its own rhythm based on the current physical fitness and training intensity. There is no need to specifically stipulate how many times to inhale and how to exhale. in principle.

However, what you can refer to is: if it is just general jogging, there is no saying which breathing rhythm/step frequency is the best, but generally speaking, most people tend to be best at “step frequency 180, 2-2 breathing rhythm” Cost effective running. So, if your cadence reaches 180 and you use a 2-2 breathing rhythm, you will breathe approximately 45 times per minute (or so).

Fatigue in swinging arms and lack of strength in upper limbs

Often in the later stages of a horse race, you will start to feel tired even with the natural movement of swinging your arms. It is very likely that there is something wrong with your upper limbs. The most common ones are insufficient joint mobility or poor upper limb muscle strength.

Most runners are strong in lower limb training, but it is easy to neglect upper limb training. Upper limb training includes rowing, push-ups, pulley pull-downs, etc. Of course, it is easier to hold two mineral water bottles and do arm swing exercises while looking in the mirror. . In addition, arm swing is also related to the mobility of the upper limbs, which can be improved through some movements such as stretching and opening the joints.