The Secret To Running Easy -- And Where To Do It

They say the eyes are the window to your soul, but yesterday our friends at SELF learned that your arms are the secret to running successfully.

Caneel Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands

"Wait, I'm supposed to think about my arms when I run?" was my initial thought. Perhaps that's why the runner's high always seemed to elude me... I wasn't running properly!

As the queen of self-doubt when it comes to pounding the pavement I was convinced my form was wrong and that my body just wasn't built to be the runner I so desperately want to be. My goal isn't to be a marathoner, I just want to enjoy running. And since I just recruited a bunch of friends to run a 10K with me in October, my goal is not to embarrass myself!

The team at FiTIST connected me with Terence Gerchberg, aka Coach Amazing and a previous contestant on the reality show I'd most want to be on: The Amazing Race. Oh and he's a pretty legit runner (he's completed 14 marathons)! I had my first coached run with him this week and while I'm not PR'ing any time soon, after one running session with Terence I'm well on my way.

Luckily I'm starting off with great form (go me!)... the only snag was my arms. I held them too close, too high and too tight; kind of like if I was constantly holding the top of a bicep curl. That's why I would get winded so quickly-I was constricting my breathing! The proper way to hold you arms, Terence explains, is at about 90 degrees with a loose grip (no fists and no floppy fish hands). "Imagine you're holding a paper baton" he told me. As soon as I made the switch I felt my entire body release. Breathing was easier and my cadence hit a steady pace.

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I want to be as happy and carefree when I'm running at the girl in this picture! With a little practice, I will!

Want to know a fun running secret? Your arms control your legs! I know, it sounds absurd, running is all about the legs you're thinking, but try this: Start jogging lightly. Now move your arms really quickly. What happens? Your legs speed up! Now really slow down your arms. Can you guess what happens? Yep, your legs slow down as well.

I might have looked a bit ridiculous while running around New York City yesterday testing this out, but it was all in the name of top secret running research! I'll be sure to share more of his running tricks. Until then, it looks like the arms know best!

Bonus: Be sure to check out these tips for proper pacing!

Best Beaches For Running

Tortuga Bay Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Designed by Oscar de la Renta, the 15-room Tortuga Bay hotel offers amazing service (including preferential treatment at Punta Cana Airport), an on-site nature reserve, several superb restaurants, a world-class golf course, and serene beach. Of course, since Tortuga Bay is a hotel, unlike De La Renta's house just down the road, all this luxury comes at a price -- a high price. Those willing to fork over the big bucks will be treated to amazing views, beautiful rooms, and perhaps the best service found anywhere in the D.R.

Tortuga Bay, Dominican Republic

Four Seasons Maui Maui, Hawaii An immaculate, art-filled property fronting Wailea beach, the Four Seasons stands at the pinnacle of the area's resorts, offering a slew of amenities, spacious rooms -- some with outstanding views -- and a top-notch staff. Thoughtful extras, like loaner Kindles by the pool and free refreshments, make guests feel pampered. It's nearly perfect, except for an unexceptional spa facility, a cramped business center, and expensive, though excellent, dining.

Four Seasons, Maui

The Setai South Beach, Miami Paradise doesn't come cheap. Striking but sober mood-lit design; impeccable service; huge, immaculate rooms; three pools, each a different temperature; and a prime beachside location make the Setai one of the best hotels in Miami. Its restaurants are more about design than food, but several of Miami's best restaurants are just half a block away.

The Setai, Miami

One and Only Ocean Club Bahamas Bringing tranquility to otherwise-crowded Paradise Island, the 105-room Ocean Club's personal butlers, beautiful pools (one for adults, one for families), private, well-attended beach with gorgeous turquoise water, restaurant from Jean-Georges, and access to Atlantis' water park, casino, and other attractions make it one of the Caribbean's best resorts. But its small standard rooms, and, at times, less fawning service can be disappointing for the price.

One and Only Ocean Club, Bahamas

Half Moon Montego Bay, Jamaica Half Moon takes its name from the two miles of spectacular, crescent-shaped beachfront -- with soft, white sand and warm, clear water -- that span the 400-acre property. Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, Half Moon strives for timeless, understated luxury (even at the swim-up bar). The 400-room resort offers attentive service, quality cuisine, and seemingly limitless activities like golfing and horseback riding.

Half Moon, Jamaica

Shutters On The Beach Beaches - Santa Monica and Venice, Los Angeles One of only two L.A. hotels right on the sand (along with Casa del Mar next door), Shutters on the Beach has an atmosphere of formal opulence, with expensive artwork in its lobby and restaurants and airy rooms that belong in a billionaire's beach house. Add in doting service and a top-notch spa, and it's no wonder Shutters is a magnet for celebrities who want to soak up the sand and sun in style.

W South Beach South Beach, Miami The stunning new 312-room W South Beach -- located on the beach, on the northern outskirts of South Beach -- blends cute comforts, intricate design (that spares no expense), and flawless service. Large, modern rooms; terraces angled to overlook the ocean; elegant landscaping around the pool; a freshly-opened spa -- the W tops the Miami greats.

W South Beach, Miami

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Built from a historic sugar plantation, this profoundly serene 166-room resort sits on 170 acres of a protected national park dotted with seven remote beaches. Even with a quaint pool and rustic rooms that lack TVs and phones, Caneel’s attentive service and unparalleled setting make it one of the Caribbean’s best resorts.

Caneel Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands

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