Plodder, Glider or Gazelle ?
The elite runners…
Ever watched a marathon and seen the ‘leading group’ of elite runners go past ?
Effortlessly they glide past, like a bunch of gazelles, often chatting amongst themselves.
And many runners can only dream of having that impact, being able to join that group and leading the pack.
And the rest..
And than there is the ‘Sunday Morning’ runner – plodding along, often red faced, panting and sweating profusely.
Yes, it’s always impressive when someone it doing exercise and getting fit – but sexy ?
The elite runners have often been training since a very young age, many will train daily and are superbly fit.
But even if you have just started running, then there are a few ‘quick and easy’ changes you can make that will help you look really good and give you a sexy running technique.
And the great news ?
It will even help your running and help you get better results.
Step 1 – video yourself
OK, this is probably the most difficult (and maybe challenging) task.
Get a friend, relative or anyone to take a video of you running. Just use your mobile phone – it doesn’t have to be that good but you need to see yourself run to spot how you can improve.
The key is to spot if you are a glider or a gazelle.
Many people will have a ‘natural’ running style that comes easy and the key is to use your own style.
So what is a gazelle running style ?
It’s the style used by many elite runners, where the runner will spend half of each stride in the air.
If you look at the picture on the right you will see that the ‘steps are shorter’ with the lead foot under the center of your body and a more forward lean.
If you have a gazelle like running style the bouncing is necessary – so when you push forwards you also push upwards. And the faster you run the more time you will spend in the air.
It’s what gives the runner this ‘sexy’ bouncy run.
The positives ?
Looks great, and is exactly what people expect great runners to look like.
The negatives ?
It isn’t that easy, great if you are tall & thin but gets more difficult as you get older (or overweight)
It also puts a lot of strain on your joints when landing.
So what is a glider running style ?
Gliders will take ‘bigger’ steps, where your front foot will already be in front of the body. The whole body is a lot ‘flatter’ – closer to the way an ice skater will move (as opposed to the gazelle bounce)
As opposed to the gazelle flying though the air, the glider is already moving the legs and feet towards the next step.
Done properly it is very efficient for long distance running, and can give the runner a real powerful run technique.
The positives ?
For most people it can be a lot easier to achieve (especially if you don’t have naturally springy legs), and also requires less energy to run. (So you will be less tired towards the end of your run)
The negatives ?
It doesn’t look as pretty as ‘bouncing along’
Which method should you use ?
If you watch yourself on video you will probably spot your ‘natural’ style – which is why it’s our first action point.
It is a lot easier to focus on your own style and then make sure you use the point below to look great.
A lot of thanks to a great video on youtube by Todd Kenyon on the difference between Gazelles and Gliders. If you are serious about running it’s well worth watching.
Step 2 – Get the Basics right
There are loads and loads of sites and videos giving information on the best way to move your feet, how you land, etc.
The key to looking good when running is to get the foundation right – so you are completely stable and in balance.
None of this bending over, looking down, flapping your arms, etc. !!!!
To get a sexy running technique and look really great focus on :
1. Look up…
The starting point is to keep your head up and look forward at the horizon – that sexy purpose full look where you know exactly where you are going and how to get there.
The advantage to your running is that this will straighten your neck and back, so you get the perfect allignment.
2. Straight Back & Relaxed Shoulders…
Run like a model on a catwalk – with a straight back and relaxed shoulders. If you keep your shoulders relaxed and low, with a straight back (& looking in the distance) you not only look great but also run better.
Try to ‘run tall’, stretching your self up to the maximum height (& impact !)
The advantage is that this not only helps with your balance but also creates the maximum amount of lung capacity, so also helping your breathing.
3. No flappy arms..
Your arms should go forward and back, with your elbows bent at about 90 degree angle. Don’t clench your fists to hard (as if you are about to punch someone) but keep simply keep your fingers lightly touching your palms, with your thumbs on top. Giving the whole impression that you are chilled but ready.
4. Your hips
The hips do it all !!! They are key to your successful running and you need to get the position exactly right. To far forward then you put lots of pressure on your lower back and gets your running off balance.
However if you run straight up, with relaxed shoulders, then your hips should be in the right position. Easy way to check is to either let someone stand behind you a push on your shoulders – if you lose balance then it’s wrong. Or imagine or hips as a cup filled with water – which you have to keep straight to avoid spillage.
Get it right and your sexy running technique will see an instant improvement.
5. The right speed..
The starting point is to work out what your current speed is – and most importantly how many step you take per minute (called your ‘cadence’)
The simplest way is to download an app that will help you measure your cadence – or alternatively there are some great armbands that will do all it for you.
Your ideal cadence will depend on your natural running style. When you first start running your cadence can be slower but for example for serious runners…
If you are a
- Gazelle runner this will probably be mid 80s
- And a Glider can be mid 90s or higher
When you first measure your cadence it could well be ‘quite slow’ – don’t worry to much but it does mean your legs have to do more work and ‘strangely enough’ makes running harder rather than easier. Simply slowly increase your cadence (for example increasing it every week) as part of your training plan – and you will not only run better but also look better.
Cadence & Chilling…
Lots of people have different ways of staying relaxed. Being relaxed is very important for running and looking good – one great option is to use music.
Did you know ? That spotify have a running app that will let you select your running music based on your cadence – so you have the right music to help you get the best results.
There is no reason why you can’t look great when running
Yes, the right clothes, make up and accessories will help. But simply by following the simple sexy running technique tips above you will look great, and also improve your running.
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