Running is a popular hobby for a lot of people. It is a great way to get fit, increase your stamina, and improve your muscle tone, and it can do wonders for your mental health. Most people have a goal in mind when they start running, whether that is a certain mileage or a number of minutes. However, once that goal is met, it is easy to become complacent. After you have reached your goals, you need to start thinking about refining your technique which is why we have put together the following guide, let’s get into it.
Perfecting Your Form
In order to become a better runner, you obviously will need to perfect your form. Working on your form can be tricky, and often there is a little trial and error involved. There are a ton of resources online which can educate you on how your gait should look while running. Improper form can tire you out more quickly and increase your risk of injury. For example, your arms shouldn’t be swinging too much, the foot needs to strike the ground under your centre mass, and the ankles should be locked, but the rest of the legs should be relatively relaxed. A few small tweaks can really help you to improve your form making you quicker, and more efficient and also decreasing your risk of injury.
Incorporate Strength & Speed Training into Your Work Out Routine
Those who prefer cardio like running often neglect weight training; however, weight training can help when it comes to refining and improving your technique. Think about it, the stronger your legs are, the more powerful they are, which means you will be able to run faster and for longer. Training your upper body can help to correct your form and also increase your stamina which means you are less likely to get fatigued. Weight training doesn’t necessarily have to include weights, nor does it have to take place in a gym; it can also mean bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges.
If getting faster is one of your goals, then it would make sense to also incorporate speed training. Interval training is a great place to start. This means varying your runs with sprinting intervals. If you run on a treadmill, you could also try tempo training which means running at a higher pace than you usually would, although you shouldn’t be gasping for air during these tempo runs. Eventually, your pace will begin to increase to form a new baseline, and you will become faster.
Consider Your Energy Sources
Your diet has a lot to do with how effective your workouts are and how you perform on your workouts too. The body needs to be adequately fueled for your workouts. Everyone loves junk food now and then, but it can often leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Protein is key for exercise; it helps to build muscle and gives you energy. Finding ways to fit more protein into your diet is not always easy, which is why a lot of people prefer to use protein powders like the ones available from Ingredient Optimized; in addition to their products, they also have an informative blog which can teach you more about fast digesting protein and a number of other fitness tools, tricks and tips.
Slowly Increase Your Duration or Distance
Depending on whether you run for a certain number of minutes or for a certain distance, you should think about slowly increasing it. Increasing your runs is a great way to build your stamina as well as help you to get faster too. The increase needs to be proportionate to your ability, and your efforts. Don’t try to do too much too soon. If you usually run for thirty minutes, aim for forty or forty-five. If you measure your runs by miles or kilometres, think about increasing the distance by ten percent. Try to incorporate one long run a week into your routine.
All workout schedules should be arranged mindfully, with rest days included. For example, you should not be scheduling difficult runs back-to-back without giving yourself enough time to rest and recover. Rest days serve a purpose both physically and mentally. They help to ensure that your muscles and your body are repaired and ready for the next work out as well as allowing you a break mentally. Your rest days can look however you want them to. For example, it might be limited physical activity and an early night, or it might be an active rest day where you still participate in physical activity or even work out, but it should all be designed to be low impact.
In the End
Realistically, the best thing that you can do in order to become a better runner is simply to run. Be consistent and work towards your goals. You need to be patient; a lot of new runners are put off by slow progress and abandon their efforts soon after. Becoming a better runner will take time. Try breaking your bigger goals down into more manageable and achievable increments to spur you on.