8 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR RUNNING26 October, 2014 0 comments
8 Fantastic Tips to Help any Runner Improve His or Her Performance
Running seems such an easy thing to do, and is why it is adopted by millions of people around the globe to improve their fitness or to enjoy as a competitive sport. Once people start running, it can become much more than a simple pastime; it can grip people like a virus, and they strive to run farther and farther. Unfortunately, most people who want to see these improvements believe that to do so, they need to run more and more until they reach their goals. The truth is that this is the wrong approach, and that simply putting in the hard yards is not enough. There is much more to it than that, so here are a few tips to help you to improve your running and reach your goals.
You do not necessarily need to buy the best running shoes on the planet, but investing in an affordable pair of the correct type of running shoes is something every runner needs to do. Wearing a worn out pair of football trainers will make your running seem slow and dead, and if you continue with them you could do your body a lot of damage. Investing in a good pair of running shoes will ensure that you suffer less impact injuries and can also put a spring in your step. Your shoes are the tools of your trade so take some advice before purchasing them
Nutrition for a runner is a balancing act, and it may take you a while to find the balance that you need. If you don’t eat before running, the chances are that your energy levels will be way too low, but on the other hand, eating too much could lead to cramps and even being sick. The least you should be doing is taking in easily digestible carbs before starting on a run.
It is all well and good to be re-hydrating while running, but that is not the be all and end all of hydration. You should drink water all day, especially as it takes a few hours for your body to absorb it, and you should make sure you drink enough. There are calculators available to make sure you are drinking enough water, but a good guide would be to drink an ounce per 10 pounds of body weight and make sure you do so before you run. Dehydration is a very debilitating thing, and the cramps that can set in because of dehydration are something that you definitely don’t want to be suffering
Hill running is a great way to improve your running, and though you may encounter a few on your usual route, you should be making sure you get to tackle a few steep inclines in your schedule. Hill running is one of the best ways to improve your leg strength as well as your upper body strength, and has also been proven to make you run faster. Of course, the beauty of hill running is the journey down, which seems like a dream.
Vary the Terrain
This seems like a good time to talk about varying your terrain, as simply running up hills is often not enough. You should vary the places you run as much as possible, so look for country paths, beaches, mountains, and even track running is different to a road. If you are competing in races like marathons or cross country runs, this is a vital part of your training, as being able to run one particular stretch well doesn’t guarantee the next will be the same. Variety is the spice of life, and will lessen the boredom of the same scenery run after run.
Vary Your Runs
You should also vary the length of your runs, and incorporate sprint work and strides as well. Pushing yourself to the limit with every run you do is usually more damaging than it is beneficial, so try to spread the hard runs out among easier ones. Though seemingly easy, these lighter runs will still be giving you a workout, and they will also be giving your body the rest it needs from constant physical excess. All sportsmen know that giving your body time to recover is as vital as pushing on to the next stage, and following in their footsteps (pardon the pun) is surely a great idea.
If your posture is wrong when you are running, then you are definitely not getting the most from your running. If you watch great athletes, you will see how good their posture is. Start at your head and keep it upright and focus on what is ahead of you in your run. Looking down creates bad posture, arches your shoulders and head, and could be dangerous if you are not paying attention to what is in front of you. Your shoulders should be parallel to the road and your back straight. Your arms should be bent at about 90 degrees at the shoulders and should be working past your waste line; this action should be relaxed as the tension just wastes energy. The arms are very important to your legs when running, and you should be aware that the faster you move your arms the faster your legs will turn over.
Simply focusing on running is a mistake that many runners make, so make sure you are not one of them. Swimming is a great all round exercise, and will work all the major muscles in your body. Building up your core strength is more important than most runners realize and yoga is an excellent way to do this, and if you feel you are lacking exercise in certain areas you could always talk to a personal trainer for advice. Don’t let your fascination with running mean that you forget all other forms of sport and physical fitness activities, they are vital to your development, even if it isn’t apparent at first.
Running is a great thing, and running well is incredibly satisfying However, if you want to get more and more satisfaction from your running, improvement is needed, and these tips will help you on the road to complete satisfaction.