Do you want to make the most out of your running session and get better at it over time? Running is an easy workout that requires consistency and patience. It can be discouraging when you feel like your progress has been stagnant. However, giving up is never the answer for runners!
Here are some tips to help you get better at running.
Drink a Glass of Water Before Running
Hydration is important for a good run. Water deficiency can cause muscle cramps and make your heart work harder. Drink at least 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before your run. If you’re going for a longer distance, make sure you bring a bottle of water or plan a water stop on the way.
Don’t Neglect Strength Exercise
While running is a cardio activity, it also requires a degree of muscle strength. It’s easy for runners to experience muscle imbalances if your muscles are not properly trained for the amount of pressure you’re putting on them. Always dedicate 10 to 20 minutes of your workout routine to include strength training. Focus on strengthening core muscles, knees, and calves to make you a stronger runner. Squats, planks, sit-ups, and pushups are good and simple exercises for balancing your muscle strength overall.
Work to Increase Your Stride Rate
Count your stride rate. Count the number of steps you take with one foot per minute, and then double that number. Runner’s World recommends a stride rate of 180 so you generally spend less time on the ground and save more energy. Increasing your stride rate takes time and practice so aim to gradually reach the ideal rate. You can run to music that’s set at 180 bpm and try to synchronize your feet with the beats.
Find the Perfect Pair(s) of Running Shoes
Are you wearing proper running shoes? Are your shoes too worn out? Check the condition of your running sneakers to see if the cushioning and the soles are still intact. You should replace your shoes after 300 to 500 miles, and keep two to three pairs for rotation.
Go for Morning Runs
If you are usually a late runner, consider waking up early one day for a morning run. Early hours usually give you mental clarity and serenity so you can run with a better mindset. Plus, the morning air is much fresher with a lesser amount of vehicle exhaust and dust.
Find a Running Partner
Find a friend or a family member who is interested in running with you. While having company might not directly improve your running performance, it can keep you in a good spirit and cheer you on for a longer run. On the days when you have no motivation to go running, your buddy can be the reason for you to get out there and train.
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