You may have heard that reducing your stride length reduces injury risk. Many researchers and running biomechanics will suggest aiming for 180 steps per minute, which is not natural for most runners. If you are prone to injury and want to experiment with changing your stride, running with music is possibly the best way to do it! Try “The Concubine” by Beirut as a stepping stone, which provides 175 beats per minute. Try to keep your pace the same as you step to the beat.
Note that changing your stride does come with some risk, so explore cautiously and always consider the wise words “if it aint broke don’t fix it.”
Don’t like listening to music while running? Try an audiobook – a great way to get to all those books on your reading list. Need a suggestion? Consider “The Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence” by D. C. Gonzalez. If you’ve done much long distance running, you know that physical training will only get you so far. Success depends a lot on your mindset, but few of us train our minds like our muscles. If you’ve never dived into the subject before, this book is a great start. It introduces the concept and provides fundamental techniques through an interweaving of stories and instructive sections. In addition to the author’s own entertaining and diverse experiences, the book includes a number of examples from professional athletes, which show how these concepts can been successfully implemented in real life. Note that this book is not specific to running, but these generic principles apply to all types of athletic and non-athletic endeavors. The best part about this book is that although it is non-fiction, it has a very whimsical style that will keep you entertained and wanting to continue listening even after you’ve gotten back to your car! Note that the approaches covered in the book are of an Eastern/Buddhist style and this book does not dive into any of the science/research in the field. If you are looking for a technical take on the subject, this book may not be a good choice for you.