How to improve your running economy
Anyone who wants to save energy when jogging to run longer and faster should know the most important measures for improving running economy. With a few easy to implement strategies, you can use your body’s energy more efficiently. Running faster, with less effort, sounds pretty tempting.
Why economic running is better
Economic running is all about saving energy. It’s like having two identical cars. Depending on how you drive these cars, you can cover different distances. The more economical you are, the further you get. Especially for marathon runners, but also triathletes, running economy plays a decisive role in performance. As an efficient runner, you need less energy to run at the same or even faster pace. The following measures can help you achieve this:
The right cadence is very important
The running style is made up of various factors. These include the stride length, time in the air, footrest, footprint, and other biomechanical influences. Among these biomechanical influences is the so-called cadence. That is the number of steps per minute that a runner takes during a run. According to several studies, it is an essential variable for runners who want to run faster and to improve their running economy.
How to determine your running cadence
An increasing cadence helps to reduce the load and save power. Even the joints benefit because the load is lower. The easiest way to determine your cadence is to use an app or a pedometer. If you want to determine it without technical help, you have to count.
Watch your arm guidance
Another critical measure to improve the running economy is your use of your arms. Studies have shown that above-average runners cross their arms in front of their bodies. Most do this entirely unconsciously. However, it is better to lead your arms straight forward and backward. That consumes less energy and makes you faster as well.
You need a strong core
A strong core is not only crucial for a six-pack or to prevent back pain. The muscles around your body also play a decisive role in running economy. According to a recent study, Pilates is particularly well suited for runners to strengthen their core. Pilates helps runners to develop better control and stabilization of the core. That is especially true for the lower back and pelvic area. The improved power and stabilization of the muscles in this area mean that you need to recruit fewer muscles when running.
Train the right muscles
One of the most important muscles for runners is the entire gluteal muscles. These include the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Especially runners who sit a lot for work should also build up these muscles as regular strength training. The more muscle fibers you can recruit from this area, the easier it is for you to run economically. If your gluteal muscles are too weak, less efficient muscles, take over the main work, which makes you tire more quickly. On Youtube, you can find numerous fitness videos, like this one or this one.