Are you a runner? If so, you’re probably always looking for ways to improve your running. After all, there’s always room for improvement, right?
Well, if you’re looking for some tips on how to improve, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’re going to share 15 running tips to help make you a better runner.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Consistency is the key
The single most important thing you can do to improve as a runner is to be consistent with your training. Of course, being consistent doesn’t mean that you have to run every single day. Try to run at least three times a week, and gradually increase the distance or time you run each week, with at least a few rest days in between. And it means not taking too many breaks from running, either.
When you are consistent with your running, your body becomes more efficient at using oxygen, and you gradually build up your endurance and strength. You’ll also find that you recover more quickly from hard workouts and long runs. If you have trouble being consistent, try setting a running schedule for yourself and sticking to it as best you can.
Put your runs on your calendar, and treat them like any other important appointment. And if you miss a run, don’t beat yourself up about it – just get back on track with your next one.
Set yourself a goal of how many times per week you want to run, and stick to it come rain or shine.
2. Focus on quality rather than quantity
When it comes to running, it’s important to focus on quality rather than quantity. In other words, it’s better to run fewer miles at a higher intensity than it is to run more miles at a lower intensity. If you can run fewer miles at a higher intensity, you’ll not only improve your running efficiency, but you’ll also reduce your risk of injury.
It’s also better to run slower for longer than to try and go too fast and end up burning out quickly. Build up your endurance gradually and focus on form rather than speed.
3. Don’t let your niggles hold you back
As a runner, chances are you’ve experienced a few niggles here and there. And while it’s tempting to just ignore them and hope they’ll go away, that’s not always the best course of action. If you have a niggle, it’s important to address it right away. Otherwise, it could turn into a full-blown injury that could sideline you for weeks or even months.
Tackle your niggles now – if you have any pain when running, make sure to address it early on. This could be anything from tight muscles to blisters. Don’t ignore these niggles as they could turn into injuries that will set you back weeks or even months.
4. Schedule should be flexible
Sometimes life gets in the way of our training plans. If you miss a scheduled run, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make sure you make up for it in the following days or weeks.
If you’re feeling tired or run down, it’s better to skip a run and rest than it is to push yourself too hard and risk injury.
5. Get your track on!
If you’re serious about becoming a faster runner, you need to get on the track and put in some speed work. This will help improve your leg turnover and make you a more efficient runner overall.
When you run on a track, you can focus on running with proper form and technique, which will help you run faster and more efficiently.
6. Turn your weaknesses into your greatest strengths!
We all have areas that we need to work on if we want to become better runners. Whether it’s your stamina, speed or form, focus on improving one thing at a time. If you’re struggling with a particular aspect of your running, then focus on that. If you’re not a fast runner, then do some speed and interval training. If you struggle with hills, then make sure you include them in your training. By focusing on your weakness, you’ll make it your strength.
But whatever it is, you won’t make any progress unless you identify your areas of weakness and put in the extra work to improve them.
One of the best ways to do this is to find a running coach or running group that can help you identify your weak points and give you specific drills and exercises to address them. You can also invest in some quality running shoes that will help you run more efficiently and prevent injuries. And finally, make sure you’re consistently tracking your progress so that you can see the improvements you’re making over time.
7. ‘Chunk’ long runs
Break it down into manageable chunks. This means breaking up your long run into smaller, manageable sections. For example, if you’re running 10 miles, you can break it up into two 5-mile sections. This will not only make the run feel more manageable, but it will also help you to maintain a consistent pace throughout.
8. Take advantage of the scenery
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with scenic as well as challenging running routes, make the most of them! A beautiful view can help take your mind off the effort of running and make the miles fly by. If you don’t have access to scenic trails, try running in your local park or even around your neighborhood.
Know your motivation – what’s driving you to improve as a runner? Is it a personal challenge, an upcoming race or simply improved fitness? Keep this in mind when times get tough and you’ll be more likely to stick with your training plan.
Run with others for added motivation – joining a running group or club can be a great way to stay motivated. There’s nothing like having someone else to run with (or chase!) to keep you going when you want to give up.
Work on your mental muscle – finally, remember that becoming better at running is not just about physical training. It’s also about psychological preparation. Banishing negative self-talk and believing in your ability to succeed are key components of any successful training plan.
9. Remind yourself of your motivation
So what motivates you to run? Is it the sense of accomplishment you feel when you finish a race? The feeling of wind in your hair as you pound the pavement? The camaraderie of running with friends? Whatever it is, understanding your motivation is key to improving your fitness.
Once you know what gets you out the door and onto the trail, you can begin to set goals that will help you reach your full potential as a runner. Whether you want to run your first 5K or qualify for a major Marathon, setting and working towards specific goals will help keep you motivated and on track.
10. Team up to get fit
When you have company, you can push each other to go further and faster. You can also benefit from the camaraderie and motivation that comes with being part of a running group.
If you’re new to running, or if you’re looking for a more structured approach, consider joining a local running club or signing up for a class at a local gym. There are also many online communities dedicated to runners of all levels. Whatever route you choose, make sure you find a group of people who will support and motivate you. With the right running buddies by your side, you’ll be surprised at how far you can go!
11. Tap into the power
Strength training will help you build muscle, which will in turn make you a more efficient and stronger runner, improve your running form and make you less injury-prone. There are a few different ways to go about strength training for runners. You can either do specific exercises that target the muscles used in running, or you can do more general strength-training exercises that will help you build overall strength.
If you want to do specific exercises for runners, there are a few key areas that you should focus on. These include your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Exercises that target these areas will help you build the muscles you need to become a better runner. Some examples of specific exercises for runners include squats, lunges, deadlifts, and plank variations.
If you’re new to strength training, it’s a good idea to start with bodyweight exercises and then progress to using weights as you get stronger. In addition to specific exercises for runners, there are also some general strength-training exercises that can help you improve as a runner. These include exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and rows.
By targeting specific muscles used in running, or doing more general strength-training exercises, you can make yourself a stronger and more efficient runner.
12. Give your mental muscle a workout.
Mental toughness is just as important as physical fitness when it comes to running. If you want to imrove as a runner, you need to work on your mental muscle. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Set realistic goals. It’s important to set goals that are achievable. If you set goals that are too high, you’ll only end up feeling discouraged. Conversely, if you set goals that are too low, you’ll never push yourself to reach your potential. Find a happy medium and set goals that will challenge you but that are also attainable.
2. Stay positive. Running can be tough, both physically and mentally. It’s important to stay positive throughout your runs, even when things get tough. Negative thoughts will only sap your energy and make the run feel even more difficult. Focus on staying positive and keeping your head up.
3. Visualize success. Before each run, take a few minutes to visualize yourself achieving your goal. This will help pump you up and get you in the right mindset for the run. See yourself crossing the finish line or reaching that personal best time. This visualization will help keep you motivated when things get tough during the run itself.
4. Don’t be afraid to walk. If you need to walk during a run, don’t be afraid to do so. Sometimes our bodies just need a break and there’s nothing wrong with walking for a minute or two to catch your breath before continuing on with the run. Just make sure not to walk for too long or you’ll lose all your momentum and it’ll be difficult to start running again.
Following these tips will help improve your running ability while also building mental toughness.
13. Say goodbye to negative self-talk
When you’re out on a run, it’s important to focus on positive self-talk. That means banishing any negative thoughts that might pop into your head. I can’t do this or this is too hard are only going to make your run more difficult. Instead, try to focus on thinking things like I can do this or I’m getting stronger with every step. This positive mindset will help push you through to the end of your run.
14. The power of belief
To improve as a runner, you know that you need to run more miles, get faster, and improve your endurance. But what you might not realize is that all of these things are possible if you simply believe in your strategy. Here are a few tips to help you with that regard:
1. Believe in your training plan. If you don’t believe in the training plan you’re following, it’s unlikely that you’ll stick to it and see the results you want. But if you believe in your plan and have confidence in its ability to help you reach your goals, you’ll be much more likely to stick with it and see the results you desire.
2. Believe in your ability. It’s easy to get discouraged when we compare ourselves to other runners, especially those who seem to be naturally gifted or have years of experience under their belts. But if you believe in your own ability, you’ll be much more likely to push through the tough workouts and reach your goals.
3. Believe in the process. The journey to becoming a better runner is not always an easy one. There will be times when you want to give up and times when you feel like you’re not making any progress. But if you can believe in the process and trust that the hard work will pay off, you’ll be much more likely to stick with it and see the results you want.
15. Go lighter
You don’t have t be slim to run, but if you’re carrying around extra weight, it will be harder to run faster and further. Try to lose any excess weight by eating a healthy diet and doing strength and conditioning training exercises that target problem areas like the thighs or stomach. This will make running feel easier and help you improve your times.
The above tips will help you become a better runner, but ultimately it is up to you to put in the hard work and dedication required to see results. Remember to focus on quality over quantity, be consistent with your training, and be flexible enough to adapt your schedule as needed. If you can do all of this, you will be well on your way to becoming the best runner you can be.