We explain how to practice running technique while you Sparkle and demonstrate exactly how to do this.
What are the Sparkles?
These are ten seconds of faster running. It is only ten seconds because you have ten seconds of energy stored in the cells of your muscles. You won’t get out of breath Sparkling as long as you have two to three minutes rest in between each one. They are also fun to do and will put a smile on your face! Make sure you warm up with ten to fifteen minutes of Chatty running first.
Sparkles are not sprints but you can make each one faster. Make sure your first Sparkle is not too fast! Find out more detail about how to Sparkle here.
Sparkles are a good place to practice god running technique or form. Here are six points you can concentrate on while you Sparkle.
Imagine a helium balloon lifting you up as you run. This will help you to run tall and give your legs room to move in. You will feel lighter on your feet and your chest is lifted enabling you to breathe more effectively.
Shoulders low and relaxed
Start with the victory pose, raising your aims in a V shape above your head. Then drop your arms and run with your shoulders low and relaxed.
Arms at 90 degrees and pushing back
Hold your arms with a 90 degree angle at the elbow and as you run concentrate on pushing back from the elbow. Your arm will automatically come forward as you run.
Planting your feet directly under your shoulders
This technique point is best practiced by concentrating on running tall and you should automatically find that your foot will plant directly in line with your shoulder as it hits the ground. It is difficult to see this yourself so you will need to ask a friend to watch you.
Running on hot coals
Pretend you are running on very hot ground for this technique point. Imagine that the ground is so hot that as your feet hit the ground you need to pick them up really quickly. When you do this, you will bring your knees up higher.
Bringing your heels up behind you
Concentrating on bringing your heels higher towards your buttocks makes your feet hit the ground before you think they will. The result is that your leg turnover is much quicker.
It’s always best to practice this technique point and the running on hot coals technique point in the last couple of Sparkles. This ensures that you are doing these when you are well warmed up.
The benefits of practicing running technique while you Sparkle
When you practise running technique while you sparkle you will get your muscles working, improve your flexibility, and be running more efficiently. You are teaching your body good running form that will eventually carry over into your everyday running at Chatty pace. You will also be able to impress everyone when you finish a 5k or Parkrun with a Sparkly finish with perfect running form!