The exam season is over, the sun is shining, summer has arrived and so today we have something completely non-scientific: my top tips on how to run. I say 'non-scientific' but we could class this as 'Grade IV evidence' (expert opinion). In fact I'd like to grade it a lot higher, because this is one of the very very few things I know for myself: everything else I think I 'know' is merely something I have read.
Enough epistemology - here are the tips.
1. At the end of your run, the correct cognitive state is 'That was wonderful! I could do it all over again!'. If you're gasping for air and thinking 'I'm almost dead' then you're trying too hard. Judge it right and within a couple of weeks you'll be amazed at how your marvellous body responds.
2. Enjoy the sunset on your run, and the flowers, and the fresh air going in and out of your lungs (see top tip #1). Corollorary: run in the countryside, not on a boring track and certainly not a gym treadmill.
3. Evolution has given you a useful pad at the front of your foot. Focus on hitting the ground with that, not your heel. If you hit the ground with your footpad, that wonderful cantilever of ankle, knee and hip (not forgetting the big toe) takes over and does the rest. No knee problems, no back problems, no hip problems.
4. Your foot needs to hit the ground 3 times per second - that's pretty fast. When you come to a hill, shorten your stride but don't slow your cadence.
5. Don't go thump-crash, thump-crash. Try to glide: put some coins in your pocket - they shouldn't jingle.
6. At the end of your run, the correct cognitive state is 'That was wonderful! I could it that all over again right now!'. Or did I already mention that?
And there you have it. Guaranteed to keep you running for at least 40 years.