Did you know that there are over 30,000 running races in America each year?
If you want to win your races or get a new best time, you’ll have to train both harder and smarter.
Keep reading for the 6 best tips for finishing strong.
1. Practice Finishing Strong with Strides
A great way to train for races is to add strides at the end of your practice runs. This can simulate how your body will feel when you’re crossing the finish line.
When you drill your body to pick up the pace when you’re already tired, you’ll be able to adapt to the pressure in time for the race. Each time you’re wrapping up a practice run, work your way up to sprinting for 2 minutes.
2. Relax and Breathe
Running can be just as much of a mental exercise as it is physical. If you’re stressed during the race, your performance will suffer.
In order to keep your muscles fueled, pay attention to your breathing. Let go of any unnecessary tension. One mental exercise you can do to stay relaxed is to imagine you’re holding a potato chip between each thumb and pointer finger. Run in a way where you’re not clenching and crushing the chips.
3. Cross the Finish Line with Good Form
During long races, it’s important to stabilize your arms by your sides. To finish strong, pump them in big circles to gain more momentum.
As for your feet, the higher you can lift your knees, the longer you’ll be able to extend your legs. When your feet hit the pavement, you’ll also have more leverage to explode off the ground and get the speed you need to win.
4. Build Your Endurance to Finish Strong
Building your endurance is especially important if you’re participating in a marathon run. In order to avoid injury, it’s best if you can start slow and build your way up. Since muscles need time to grow and adapt, don’t expect stellar results overnight.
Don’t forget to stretch and massage your muscles to help them recover faster.
5. Train on Hills and Inclines
Even if your running race is on flat terrain, training with elevation can help build new muscles and reduce your lactic acid output. Lactic acid helps our bodies move during strenuous exercise, but too much of it can make our muscles feel weak.
After you’ve trained on inclines, running on flat land will feel like a cakewalk.
6. Pace Yourself and Stay Aware
With all the excitement of a race, it’s easy for runners to start off too fast. Don’t fall into this trap or you’ll end up sabotaging yourself.
During practice runs, experiment with different paces and see which methods can help you perform your strongest and fastest. Be sure to stay present and check in with your body while you run.
Want More Running Tips?
With these top tips for finishing strong, you’ll feel proud of every race you run.
Want more running tips, advice, and more? Check out our blog for the ultimate runner’s guide.