One Big Tip for Running Farther and Faster

Whether you’re a runner or just thinking about getting into running, one big tip is to be patient. You’ll see the results over time if you stick with it and give your body time to heal from injuries.

The “how to run faster and longer without getting tired” is a tip that will help you get the most out of your running experience. This tip can be applied to any form of exercise, but it’s especially helpful for long distance running.

Lloyd “Bud” Winter is regarded as one of the all-time great running instructors. His track and cross-country teams won six national titles, ranked in the top ten a dozen times, and produced 102 All-Americans during his three-decade tenure at San Jose State College (now University) (27 who went on to become Olympians). His athletes have set a total of 37 world records. SJSC’s track stadium was dubbed “Speed City” as a consequence of his achievements.

Winter acted as a facilitator of aviation success before becoming an acclaimed coach of track and field excellence.  

The US military was worried during World War II about the number of pilots who were breaking under the strain of aerial warfare. Too many aircraft and lives were lost as a result of the job’s high intensity and high risks.

Winter was hired into the Del Monte Naval Pre-Flight School to head up a study program meant to assist the school’s cadets relax. Winter had previously examined the psychology of functioning under duress.

Winter was the driving force behind the development of a protocol aimed at reducing mental and physical stress. It was based on training the cadets to relax every part of their bodies, from their toes to the muscles surrounding their eyes. The exercises were supposed to assist pilots-in-training keep calm and collected in the cockpit, as well as fall asleep quickly in their spare time, so they would be better rested and less weary.

The program was a huge success: cadets who underwent relaxation training improved their grades in the classroom and on the field, as well as their attention, response time, speed, and stamina. In addition, 96 percent learnt how to fall asleep in two minutes or less, regardless of the situation. (To discover how Winter trained the cadets to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, go here.)

Winter used the tension-relieving methods he helped create for combat fliers to build world-class athletes after the war. “We preached relaxation from the moment the athletes began their warm-up until they unlaced their shoes at the conclusion of the activity,” he wrote of his time at San Jose State College. Winter thought that pushing too hard hindered performance and that athletes performed better when they gave nine-tenths of their effort rather than going all-out. “Stay loose,” he told all of his track and field competitors, from sprinters to shot putters.

“Let the flesh linger on the bones,” he said everyday with his distance runners in particular. He meant letting go of physical tension and enabling their “antagonistic” muscles, or muscles that aren’t in action at the time, to relax. When you activate the muscles involved in swinging an arm forward, you relax the muscles involved in swinging it back.  

Because it’s difficult to keep track of which muscles are active and which aren’t while moving, Winter’s runners were often told to “loose mouth — loose hands.” Winter said that relaxing your mouth and hands “tends to keep your whole body calm,” with the former being particularly true: “Relaxing your jaw is one of the keys to relaxing all over.” If your mouth is relaxed, your whole upper body is probably relaxed as well.” Winter continuously instructed his runners to relax their jaws, their whole mouth, including their lips and tongue, and to adopt a “brook trout appearance.” And he’d tell them that instead of being tensely balled up, they should let their hands become slack.

 

Olympic medalist John Carlos running during race.

Olympic medalist John Carlos was one of the athletes Bud Winter coached. “USA’s John Carlos (259) gets to the tape looking nearly calm to win the men’s 200-meter dash, 2nd round heats,” was the description that accompanied this picture in the archive from which it was downloaded.

Winter was convinced that his “loose mouth — loose hands” slogan was the driving force behind his SJSC teams’ many world records. “Your body is functioning more effectively and you are utilizing fewer muscles than previously to achieve the same activity,” he reasoned, explaining why the strategy improved athletic performance. You’re getting more miles out of the same amount of petrol.”

Relaxing your face and hands, according to modern studies, is helpful less because of its physiologic effects and more because of its psychological effects. According to new research, the brain, in order to maintain your physical resources for life, reduces exertion depending on your perceived degree of effort. The greater the apparent exertion, the more your body wants to relax. If you clench your jaw and fists, your mind interprets this as a signal that your run is tough, and it reduces your potential speed and stamina. When you relax your body, on the other hand, your mind believes you aren’t working as hard as you think, and the throttle on your power isn’t triggered. Similarly, studies have shown that just repeating a mantra to oneself, such as “I’m feeling wonderful!” (even if you aren’t), may motivate athletes to go farther and faster.

So the next time you’re out for a run and your motivation is waning, make sure you’re not slogging along with a frown on your face. If that’s the case, make your cup seem like a blissed-out brook trout. A slack mouth equals slack hands.

 

 

If you want to run faster and farther, then you need to understand the basics of your body. There is one big tip for running that can help you run faster instantly. Reference: how to run faster instantly.

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