Free Running: How To
Free running is a fast growing urban sport that involves scaling and leaping over obstacles in the most fluid and visually appealing manner possible. Learning the art of free running involves a disciplined approach incorporating aspects of gymnastics, sprinting and strength training.
To start free running, you will need:
- Comfortable, but snug sports wear
- Durable urban running shoes
- Balance board or Swiss ball
- Free weights
- Begin by developing your balance and coordination. A balance board or Swiss ball are great tools for increasing coordination. Practice by holding your balance and gradually increase the difficulty by holding free weights and/or inclining your body as you balance.
- Run daily at least half an hour each day to increase your endurance. Gradually begin scaling or climbing small objects you encounter as your dexterity develops.
- Work on strengthening your muscles through weight lifting exercises that offer a full range of motion. Cable lifts and dumbbells are best for allowing your muscles a full range of motion and simultaneously training entire systems of muscles instead of muscles in isolation.
- Find a gym that specializes in free running training. Many larger cities now have training centers dedicated to free running with equipment including a full range of obstacles. Training at a gym will allow you to take free running to a more difficult level without risking severe injuries. If your city does not have free running centers, consider joining a gymnastics class. Many of the same movements and skills necessary for free running can be learned in gymnastics.
- When you are confident in your abilities, consider free running in small groups. Valuable experience can be gained from watching and learning from veteran free runners. If further training is needed, consider private coaching.
- Continue practicing and improving your control over the urban landscape. Remember to pace yourself. Free running can be very rewarding, but it can also be extremely dangerous for the inexperienced risk-taker.