Yesterday when I headed out the door on my run my only focus was to slow down. I know that I need a week of more relaxed running, but the key is to make sure I am actually keeping my heart rate down and focusing on relaxing.
Here are a few of the tricks I try to use when focusing on easy running:
A few times throughout my run I noticed that I would begin picking up my pace and my breathing would get a bit heavier. When I noticed this happening I stopped running. I knew there was no time restraint so stopping wasn’t a big deal.
I would take a deep breath, calm my breathing down and then start right back up running again. This helped me to regroup and refocus.
2. Take a Deep Breath
When I find myself starting to tense up the first thing I do is take a deep breath in and then breathe out slowly. Not only does this help calm you down but it also works to relax your shoulders.
Often times when we begin to tense up, the first thing that you notice is your shoulders start to raise. When you relax your shoulders this in many ways begins to help relax the rest of your body.
3. Stay on Soft Ground
Though this isn’t always possible, when there is soft ground near or on the edge of the road I try to run on it. When I run on softer ground or grass it seems to slow me down and also helps to take some of the pounding off of my legs.
When I first began running again after my injury one of the first thing I focused on was staying on soft ground. There are some people that say it makes no difference, but I notice a big difference in how my legs feel on a soft ground run versus pavement, so I still like to try to throw it in once or twice a week.