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December 25th, 2012

U.S. Army-Baylor – Minimalist Runners Report Fewer Injuries

Running at NightAnother study has been published suggesting that minimalist runners experience fewer running injuries. Just a few short years ago, there was no scientific evidence that running barefoot or minimalist could help you prevent injuries. If anything, the thought seemed ludicrous. Yet here we sit, with a new study that notes that runners in traditional shoes are getting injured nearly 3.5x more than those wearing minimalist shoes.

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December 18th, 2012

How To Create Your Own Mantra

Runner on a track staying focusedWe’ve previously talked a lot about mantras. We’ve learned what they are and identified what elements make them successful. But we haven’t talked about how to make your own.

Creating a mantra is straightforward and easy. However, creating a great mantra requires a lot of thought and some time to refine it. Let’s create one that is customized to an individual’s needs.

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December 11th, 2012

Intrinsic Motivation in Runners

Drive is a best-selling book by Dan Pink, a an American journalist and author. While the book was very good and I do recommend it to those interested in the concept of motivation, this article is not a review of the book. What Drive does do is touch on running. It’s very brief, but it got me thinking about how runners stay motivated. At Sleek Running we’re already written about ditching motivation and using habits to consistently run, and about the concept of “flow” – getting in the zone. But flow requires intrinsic motivation and those runners who are trying to create habits are compensating for a lack of motivation, or trying to find some from deep within.

Does this mean that creating a habit to get your run in is a bad thing? Absolutely not. If that’s what you need to do, it’s an option that you should be aware of. But this book really got me thinking – how do some people stay motivated, if they’re just running for pure enjoyment, for years and years? If there are no external goals like hitting a certain time in a race or losing X number of pounds, what force exists to motivate?

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December 4th, 2012

Our Best Tweets – November 2012

We’ve worked hard to build a Twitter account (@sleekrunning) that shares not only articles from our own site, but articles from other websites and tweets from around the internet. Our mission is to help keep you healthy so you can enjoy running while achieving your goals. Wherever we find the best information, we’ll share it with you – no matter who it’s from. This month we’re focusing on misleading articles.

Here are our best tweets from November.

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November 27th, 2012

Motivating Yourself to Practice Good Form

Motivated RunnerIt’s very hard for the average runner to develop the discipline to practice their form. If you’re visiting our site, you know it’s important, but do you really actively work on your form? Probably not. It took me years to develop the discipline and awareness.

Why?

Because I didn’t care until I got hurt.

There are plenty of articles on this site that preach good form. We have an entire series dedicated to it. But we can’t just convince you to do it.

Hopefully, you’re visiting Sleek Running in good health and looking for ways to prevent injuries. But more likely, you first came here looking for help solving your injury woes. Of course, we’ve got plenty of it. Our mission is to keep you healthy. But, even if you know what you’re supposed to do, it can still be extremely difficult to motivate yourself.

So, don’t bother.

Instead, Make It a Habit.

Start small – focus on one thing at a time.

Don’t get overwhelmed with foot strike, your center of gravity, how you’re supposed to lean, how high to hold your arms, how to hold your head, and the many other facets of having “perfect” form.

Learn each facet one at a time. Don’t move onto the next until you’ve got it. It might take 10 steps, or several weeks to work each bit into a place that’s comfortable for you. It’s very important to not move on until it’s become a habit. You should be doing it without thinking of it.

You need to be patient and realize it’s a work in progress.

It’ll never be perfect, so don’t obsess over it.

That’s our job. In all seriousness, realize that perfect form for everyone is slightly different. It really depends on your body. [Note: We’re talking about slight variations, that does not mean it’s okay to heel strike, good try.]

Try a Mantra.

Mantras are really good at helping you focus on a single thing (part of your form). This is especially valuable when you’re in the middle of a difficult run – the last thing on your mind is checking your running form. Check out this article for more information.

Relax.

Remember, the most important thing you can do is relax. It will help you with all parts of your form.

Image By: Oskar Nijs