I have 10 tips that will help you run faster, farther and more efficiently!
Often, the quality of our running is affected by our motivation. So as I was running one day, I wondered what helps me stay motivated while running. So I came up with these tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your runs.
1. Running Shoes
It's important to have proper running shoes that fit you well and are comfortable. They don't have to be fancy or expensive, just comfortable.
2. Empty Stomach
Always wait 1-2 hours after eating before going for a run! If you don't you are going to regret it. You won't have had a very effect run and you'll probably just going to end up sick. Best time to run is on an empty stomach since it also forces your body to use other sources for energy, such as fat deposits.
3. Proper Form
It's important to make sure you have proper running form in order to prevent injuries. So what you can do is, observe others who are experienced runners or who have proper form. Notice their strides. If you have a friend who is an experienced runner, ask them to critic your form.
If you are training yourself, then keep these points in mind. Arms are bent at 90 degrees at sides of the body, lands on heels or feet and lean slightly forward. This will feel very natural very quickly.
4. Clear Head
Don't think about the immediate discomforts of running. If you fixate your attention on how "horrible" this experience is seconds will feel like minutes and minutes will feel like hours. Instead, clear your head and think about anything, besides running.
Running is a surprisingly autonomous action. If you can just get a rhythm going, almost like dancing, your body will do the rest.
Distract yourself with listening to music that motivates you and makes you feel good and happy. This will make you feel invincible and literally help you go the extra mile.
I personally listen to my music with Bluetooth headphones and use an armband to hold my phone. It helps me focus on my run and zone out, without having to worry about if my phone is going to fall out of my pocket. Or if I'm going to tug my headphone out of my ears.
7. Running Apps
Since you're going to be carrying your phone along with you while running, it might as well be doing something other than just playing music. Download a running app like Endomondo or Strava and have it record your distance and time traveled. Along with that, these apps also have settings to an automated coach that tells you how fast you are going at half mile increments. It's really motivating to know you are making a good time, while during your run.
Set goals for yourself. But I don't mean future goals, like running a marathon. I mean more short terms goals, like how far you want to run today. An extension of that would be to have a physical goal of reaching a certain landmark.
One tip I heard that I liked was, you could have someone drive you a mile or two from your house and drop you off. Then you have no choice but to run the full distance back. Clever.
Like anything in life, practice makes perfect. So in order to get better at your running, you need to repeat it. Don't expect to get faster if you run only when you think of it. You need a schedule. Set aside time each week to run. Usually, a Monday/Wednesday/Friday spread is good. But if you want to get even faster, you could consider running more than just 3 times a week.
Also, try and push yourself a little bit further each week, roughly 10% further. It doesn't have to be exact, but just try to make it to the next major landmark. A stop sign, a street corner, a fire station, whatever.
Find a short strip of sidewalk close to your house that you can sprint on the way back from your runs. This may sound insane, but I promise you it will do wonders for your will power and even your performance.
BONUS 1. DON'T STOP MOVING
Whatever you do, don't stop moving. Don't walk. Don't stop. Don't sit. Don't lean. Just don't. The moment you do, you have told yourself it's ok to give up. Not only that but your body also starts to work against you fi you do. Your heart rate will plummet, your muscles will fatigue, your body will start cooling down and that will more likely cause cramps.
If you must, go into a slow jog to catch your breathe and then speed up again. But don't walk. Never walk.
BONUS 2. Fuel
And the last and final tip is to make sure you supply your body with the proper fuel for it to perform as it's best. This means eating healthy complex carbs and good sources of fat. If you want to know why fat is a good source of energy for runners, check out the link to that post below.
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