“I want to do more sports” one of the most common resolutions for the new year. But as soon as the Christmas holidays are over and the working routine returns not much actually happens. Bad weather, insufficient time – all favourite excuses in the fight against the couch potato tendency. For the next part of our Ride Fit series we’ve got a training method for you that can be done virtually everywhere and at every time: running.

Beim Laufen ist es wie beim Biken: Auf Trails macht es deutlich mehr Spaß!
Running is like riding: much more fun on the trails! Kerstin Kögler from the BMC Enduro Racing Team shows us how it works.

Jogging for mountain bikers – why?

There are a few good reasons to regularly swap your clipless pedal shoes for running shoes.
Running is an especially effective way to save time building your endurance fitness. One hour of jogging is roughly equivalent to two hours riding, because of the higher level of physical movement. Furthermore many Enduro races feature sections where you need to push, the best example the Trans Provence where this year there was 1000 metres of climbing on foot.
So it really makes sense to prepare your muscles for this sort of challenge. In addition running is cheap and you can do it at any time in any place – it’s a great alternative.

Mit Laufschuhen entdeckt man die bekannte Hausrunde von einer ganz anderen Seite
With running shoes your home trails will feel completely different.

Basic Tips

  • When running you should avoid uniformity. Vary your pace, the terrain and routes.
  • Variations for bikers include power training on steps or mountain running. Longer hikes are also a good way to add variety and build your endurance.
  • There are many seminars and trainers available these days. Coaching makes sense for those just starting out or those wanting to fine tune their technique. 

  • Your shoes need to be right: especially important is the correct fit at the heel. Here we recommend you go to a specialist for a running analysis to determine the right shoes or correct poor position with inserts.
  • Above all: start slowly and then increase – breaks during running are OK e.g. walk for two minutes – run for eight minutes. This gives your muscles and tendons time to acclimatise.
Laufen kann man nahezu immer und überall
You can run pretty much any time and everywhere…..
Einzig geeignetes Schuhwerk ist essentiell
… but suitable shoes are essential

When running you should observe the following

  • Your eyes focus on the ground 10 metres ahead in order to reduce pressure on neck muscles and keep a relaxed posture.
  • Keep your head upright but ensure that your upper spine is relaxed.
  • Your arms swing back and forth loosely in the forward direction.
  • Your hands are relaxed and hardly move. The thumb rests on the index finger, the back of your hands faces outwards.
  • Upper and lower arms almost form a right angle.
  • In the forward phase your upper legs swing up until the ankle is directly under the front of your knee.
  • Your forward foot meets the ground ahead of your body axis. The footprint is active and points backwards. On lifting off the knee and hips are fully extended.
  • Your upper body is erect, almost stretched in order to reduce the strain on your spine and allow your centre of gravity to freely swing. This allows you to extend your stride by 2cm!
  • Beginners often tip their pelvis backwards. Your pelvis should be slightly tipped forwards then your upper body will automatically straighten itself.
Mit der richtigen Technik macht auch Joggen richtig Spaß
With the right technique even jogging is real fun

5 effective exercises to improve your technique

High knee running/Skipping

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During this exercise, which you effectively do on the spot (or over a 25 metre distance) you lift the knee much higher than during running. The upper leg becomes horizontal.
For skipping a bit lower. Ensure your pelvis remains slightly rotated forwards and that your upper body doesn’t sink (sitting down posture). Fully extend the knee joint and leg of the the pushing leg. The arms support the knee lift. Upper body and head stay upright, but slightly tipped forwards. The emphasis is on the knee lift in this exercise. 

Heel lift

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With a slightly forward posture your heels alternately touch your behind. Ensure that your hips stay stretched out. This exercise is also done on the spot or in a slow trot. You can train your coordination by alternating the patterns:

left – right – left – right – left …

left – left – left – left …

left – left – left – right – right – right – left …

Crossed-leg running

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Run sideways and allow your legs to alternately cross in front and behind your body. The rotation of your upper body when crossing the legs is just from the hips. The upper body stays pointed sideways in the running direction, the arms are stretched out sideways or on the hips.

Side jumps

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Like the crossed leg running your body moves in a sideways direction. Your legs are spread and pulled together alternating through the sideways jump. Make sure your upper body stays straight.

High-knee skips

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For sure you remember this one from your childhood. Make sure your upper body stays straight, the hips stay extended, the eyes look straight ahead. The arms emphasise the skip. Variation: from the skip change over to normal running.

Für all jene mit wenig Freizeit ist laufen eine effektive Trainingsmethode
For those of you with a lack of free time running is a effective training method

So now we’ve given you plenty of useful tips about running there’s just one thing left to do: get out there and go for a run – enjoy!

If you want to find out more about the girl who runs and wrote this article visit: kerstin-koegler.de

Words: Kerstin Kögler & Christoph Bayer | Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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