Welcome to chapter four of Runners Helping Runners: A Nike Running Guide. We’ll be exploring the idea of expanding possibilities in your running life, whether that means opening yourself up to the idea of cross-training with a yoga routine or getting more comfortable with solo running through safety tips. Let’s explore together.
Great Runs Are in the Details
It’s a simple thing, but bringing intention to something as basic as tying your shoes can make a difference in a run. Start fully loosened, recommends Nike Running Head Coach Chris Bennett, then begin tightening gently from the toes up towards the ankle. “While you’re doing this, you want to dorsiflex your foot,” says Coach B. “It’s a geeky term, but all that means is you want to point your toes up to the sky. That’s going to arch your foot a little bit and flex your ankle, so when you finish tightening and relax your foot you’ve created a little bit of space there. The goal is snug, not tight.” Then take a moment to check in with yourself—asking how you’re feeling, and what your purpose for the run is—before heading out the door.
The other key ingredient? Don’t be afraid to readjust. “A common mistake runners make is they start a run and feel like they have no ability to stop the train,” says Coach B. “You’re the conductor, the engineer. Just stop and fix your shoes! It doesn’t have to be perfect, just needs to be comfortable.”
Great runs are in the details. And for 39 years runners have trusted Pegasus to take care of them. Check out this article on the new Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 to learn how details like integrated Flywire and Fitband technology are making it easier than ever to get consistent, comfortable lacing.
Self-Defense for Runners
Running solo can be an expression of freedom, a meditation, and a unique way to experience your environment, but for many runners, it can also be inaccessible. Nicole Snell, self-defense expert and CEO of Girls Fight Back, is dedicated to helping change that by teaching self-defense techniques and situational awareness to help minimize risk. While these tools don’t solve the problem they can help build confidence. “When we learn how to use our body to protect ourselves it can change how we walk through the world and give us the confidence to do the things we want to do,” says Nicole, “but in addition to that, using your intuition, your awareness, having verbal skills—those are things that we’re doing every day.”
To learn more about self-defense for runners, check out this Nike Trained Podcast episode: “Building confidence with self-defense” featuring Nicole Snell.
Open Up a New World of Running
“Powering through soreness may make you feel all kinds of badass, but if you’re skipping out on rest and recovery, your body never has a chance to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues.” - Andrew Watkins, Director of Strength and Conditioning at Sports Performance Lab
Physical stress takes a toll on your body’s ability to function at its best. And if you’re also dealing with mental and emotional stress, you’ll have an even harder time bouncing back between runs, leading to further deficiencies and breakdowns instead of gains. Instead of forcing your way through a fatigued run that may actually be detrimental to progress, consider taking an active approach to recovery with a yoga session.
With its combination of mental and physical nourishment, you’ll be surprised what a short yoga session can do for your running. Check out this Runner’s Restorative Sequence to open up tight hips, stretch out tired legs, and give your body and mind a brief break from all the go-go-going.