Sunday, 22 January 2012

The art of running well

There are many schools of thought on how we should run. Some say we should run barefoot, and land on the balls of our feet, while others say we should run heel to toe. Some say we should push our shoulders back, while others would prefer to keep them loose...

Over the years, I've come to realize that our running style is just as personal as our handwriting. Everyone is an individual and everyone has their own unique way of running. Even top athletes, (like Paula Radcliffe and her nodding head,) have their own unique style.

But while no two running styles are the same, I have concluded that there is still one reliable yardstick for judging a good running style, and it is this:

When you run, make everyone you pass wish that they were running too.

If we truly believe that running is a good thing, then we should embody the benefits of running whenever we run, so that others get a real sense of it, and want some of what we've got. And while there may be as many different running styles as there are runners, I've found that there are still some key characteristics that are always present in this style of running:

1. Smile: let everyone know how much you love running by getting your smile on every time you put your running shoes on;

2. Relax: allow your limbs to flow in an easy and graceful way;

3. Focus: zone in on the experience, exist in the moment and become one with your running;

4. Connect: when you're running, you're a part of a global family. Other runners are your brothers and sisters. Say "hi" to them as you pass.

If you want other people to get the same benefit out of running that you do, don't just tell them how great it is. Show them. Embody the essence of running. Be the change.