Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been running for months now, chances are, you’re very open to hearing tips to make you a better runner. I know I’m always looking for good running advice! From warm up to cool down (yep, those are two of my tips!), I’ve got a few tips to make you a better runner, starting today. Let’s go!
1. Warm up
You may not think you need to warm up before you run, but the first of my tips to make you a better runner says otherwise! Your warm up doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming; simply jog or brisk-walk for five minutes to get your body ready for your run.
2. Cool down
This is the corollary to the “warm up” tip… it’s also important to cool down after your run. Again, it’s simple to do – just walk or jog for an additional 5 minutes at the end of your run – but it helps your body adjust at the end of your workout.
3. Get the Gear
If your runs aren’t going as well as you think they should, or if you’re experiencing pain during or after your run, chances are you need to upgrade your gear, especially your shoes! I can’t stress how important the right shoes (and socks, for that matter) are to the effectiveness and safety of your run. If you’re just running in any old shoe, it’s time to visit a pro and get the right fit in the right shoe.
4. Feed the Machine
Anyone who’s been running for any amount of time can tell you how important it is to fuel your body properly… and how natural it will be to think about what you’re eating, and why. You’ll notice how less appealing fattening foods will sound, and how much more delicious fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins will appear. It makes sense: all the time you spend running would be for naught if you’re not eating properly.
5. Stay Motivated
Being a “good” runner doesn’t mean you’re the fastest. It means you lace up your shoes and actually run, and often, even when you don’t want to. Of course, this means you have to stay inspired and motivated… find what moves you, and let it, well, MOVE YOU!
6. Do It Early, do It Daily
I know that if I don’t get up and run, first thing, every morning, it won’t happen; a thousand excuses and distractions will present themselves, keeping me from my run until bedtime… and then it’s too late! So my advice here? Get up and go, first thing, and do it every day, like all of your other good daily habits.
7. Change It up
This may sound odd, but if you really want to up the running ante, consider changing where, and on which surfaces, you run. If you run on track, consider running round the other way; if you usually run on a bike path, run on the trail instead! These changes can prevent injuries, and can keep you from getting bored.
8. Keep Hydrated
You don’t need fancy sports drinks or gels to keep hydrated during and after your run; all you need is water, unless you’re running a marathon. Don’t fill up before your run (you’ll slosh around and cramp while you run) but sip while you run, or wait til the end of your run and drink up. Need a little more replenishment than water can give you? Try low-fat, no sugar added chocolate milk.
9. Safety First!
My run every morning is my daily dose of “me” time, a little peace and tranquility in an otherwise hectic and noisy life. But I always keep safety in mind: people always know where I’m running and when to expect me back, and I always wear my RoadID safety bracelet. If you want to be a better runner, put safety first, so you can keep running!
Hopefully, you’ll consider each of these tips in mind before your next run, so you’ll be a better, safer, more efficient runner. I know the right shoes have made all the difference to me, and of course staying motivated is important, too… which of these ideas do you think will improve your run? Or do you have another tip to share?