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Source: The Book Of Sports

In running, as the swiftness of the motion steadies the body in its
course, without the aid of the oscillations of the arms, they are
naturally drawn up towards the sides, and, bent at the elbows, form a
right angle. Their motion is almost suspended in very swift running. In
moderate running, a gentle oscillation is observed, increasing in
proportion as the body approaches to the walking pace. The knees are now
more bent,--the same part of the foot does not touch the ground, the
body being carried forward more by the toes. The degree of velocity is
acquired in proportion to the length and quickness of the steps. The
person should therefore endeavour to ascertain whether long or short
steps suit his muscular powers best; generally speaking a moderately
short step, quickly repeated, accelerates motion most. In learning to
run, the pupil should first endeavour to improve his breath by degrees:
he must try his speed first in short distances, to be gradually
increased: the distance will vary according to the age and strength of
the runner. The first exercises in running should commence at a gentle
trot over a distance of a hundred and fifty yards, at the rate of about
six feet to a second: this should be varied up to eight feet in a
second, for the first three or four days, and the distance increased
from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty yards. On following
days, the distance may be increased to five hundred yards, and
afterwards gradually, until a mile can be performed in ten minutes,
which is tolerably good running. Afterwards, six miles may be tried in
an hour, which will be easily accomplished.

As regards rapid running, from one hundred feet to one hundred yards may
be attempted at full speed, and when the constitution is good, the body
not too fat, the muscular developments fine, and the lungs sound, a
quarter of a mile a minute may be accomplished, and a mile in five
minutes, which is seldom done even in very good running. Ten miles an
hour, which is the average speed of the mail, may, however, be easily
performed with judicious and proper training.

Next: Leaping

Previous: Walking

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