Want to run faster? Relax.

By Kelsey – February 2, 2011


Are you not getting the times you want in your races? Relax. That’s the idea of an active.com article that says “A relaxed mind produces a relaxed body—an efficient body, a fast body.” Think about the form of a sprinter: while their leg muscles tense and strain to cross the finish line, their lips are loose and eyes often droopy. They know that each unit of energy they possess must be put into their stride; intensity shown in the face is nothing more than wasted energy.

Make time to do some sort of relaxing activity every day. Listen to your favorite music, do yoga, take a warm bath and visualize. Having a relaxed mind-body state will make it easier to begin your run less keyed-up, and taking time for yourself is just a good life choice anyway.

And whenever you start to feel tight or tense during your run, take one of these steps to make the most efficient use of your energy.

  • Let your jaw slacken and your eyes soften and droop. Facial muscles control the degree of tension in the entire body. Relax the face and you’ll relax the body.
  • Keep your upper body perpendicular to the running surface–shoulders back, buttocks forward.
  • Make sure your hands are not clenched but closed softly, as if you are holding eggs.
  • Focus on a smooth stride. Avoid over- and understriding, as they waste energy.
  • Shake out your arms, relax your shoulders, and carry your arms low with elbows firm but not locked.
  • Try this: As you run, repeat the word “calm” or “relax.”
  • Don’t apply power; float with strength.

Link to the active.com article here.

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