When you’ve never ran previously, hitting 5K for the first time feels like the biggest accomplishment; however, in order to stay motivated, you need to keep setting goals. If you simply run 5K after 5K, you’ll soon grow bored and start to lose your motivation, which can severely impact your running performance. If your running performance takes a hit, it’s not uncommon for your confidence to do the same. Therefore, if you wish to continue with your running goals, it’s essential you’re always on the hunt for ways to improve your running performance. Discover some of the top tips below.
1. Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Firstly, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) might be exactly what you need to give yourself that competitive edge you need to optimise your running performance. This is because MLD facilitates accelerated healing, due to the way in which it increases the flow of fluid through the lymphatic system. This is achieved via a light massage technique, ridding the body of metabolic waste. From this, scar tissue can be softened, healing can be accelerated, and pain can be reduced. As a result, not only does MLD aid recovery, but it also delays any onset muscle soreness or swelling.
2. Practice Low Heart Rate Training
If you have the time and dedication to optimise your running performance, practising low heart rate training is one of the most effective ways of doing so. To begin with, it’s likely that you’ll have to run at an incredibly slow pace to keep your heart rate low. Despite this, as time goes on and your body adjusts, you’ll grow to be able to run much faster while maintaining a lower heart rate. This is something that will take a lot of time and effort; however, it’s certainly worth it for those looking to run faster for longer.
3. Increase Your Cadence
When you first begin running, this is typically when your technique is at its best, as you have no choice but to focus on it. Over time, though, you’ll likely find that you grow lazy with your technique as you become more confident. Therefore, in order to optimise your running performance, you should always draw your attention back to your cadence, shortening your stride as you do so. This helps promote a mid-foot strike, which is the healthiest place to land when running. In fact, many injuries can occur from overstriding and landing on the wrong part of your foot.
4. Adjust Your Fuelling Strategy
As previously mentioned, runners should constantly be setting themselves goals, so they don’t find themselves losing motivation. Lost motivation can present itself in the form of fatigue and sluggishness, and the biggest cause of these feelings is improper fuelling. If you’re looking to up your speed or mileage, it’s essential that you’re fuelling your body with the right foods. It’s not just about putting the right number of calories in your body, it’s also about putting the right type of calories in your body. For instance, you should be looking to incorporate nutrient-dense foods into your diet on a regular basis.
5. Incorporate Speed Workouts and Interval Training
Last but not least, you should incorporate speed workouts and interval training into your programme. Even if you’re not looking to reach a certain time goal, speed workouts are essential for continually increasing your fitness. One of the best ways to achieve this is by setting out a timetable in which one day is designated for speed training. Not only will this improve your physical strength, but it will help you bolster your mental strength, too. What’s more, new accomplishments will drive you to keep pushing forwards.