25 Aug 33 Useful Tips To Help You Become A Better Runner
Whether you are a beginner or advanced runner, there is always something else to learn, or to remind yourself. Sometimes we overlook the details that can make a difference, and this is why we give this list of 33 useful tips that can help improve your runs.
1. Are morning runs hard to get to? Small details can make the difference. Prep your running clothing the night before and leave it by your bed. Make it easy in a way that you’ll be in the road before you know it.
2. Don’t forget a quick carb loading bite before each run. Provide your body with the fuel it needs so you don’t run into energy depletion states while you are running. Check these 5 carb loading quick meals
3. Refuel your long runs. Carb gels should be part of your arsenal for long runs. Make sure to take them every 60 minutes or when fatigue kicks in.
4. Properly hydrate your long runs. You should drink at least 500ml of fluids for every 60 minutes of running. Don’t forget that hydration belt.
5. Freshen up your runs. Running the same route every day can slowly turn down your drive for running. Changing locations, landscapes and terrain every so often can boost your motivation.
6. It’s ok to stop in long runs. If your body needs it you can use 45-60 short stops to recover. Use them to re-hydrate and refocus. This can allow you to take on even longer runs.
7. Add the extra cushion. Adding cushioned insoles can help reduce the shock impact that running causes on your joints and muscles with every stride. This will do your body a favor.
8. Deal with friction on your long runs so it does not become a deterrent of performance. Make sure to get friendly on Vaseline and apply on nipped, groin, and toes before your longs.
9. Stretch after a warm up. Doing cold static stretching can actually damage your muscles. Make sure to start with a soft run or static running (you can include 3×12 sets of squats to prime muscles even more), then you can proceed to mild and stretching. Don’t do too much.
10. Getting back after an injury? Take your time and progress into your average form very slowly. Depending on injury and time off, your first week or two should be a slow adaptive process. Read your body and follow what it says. Don’t do too much too fast.
11. Speed up your recovery after your runs. This can be quickly done with a cold session. Simply take a shower pointing the cold water to your legs and let it flow for 10 minutes. Cold will help manage inflammatory responses and will help your muscles heal and recover faster.
12. Take it slow at the end your training runs, never sprint. Sprinting at the end will make your legs accumulate additional lactic acid which takes longer to recover for your next run.
13. Want to build power and speed faster? Include hill training as part of your training routine at least once a week. Hill running causes your muscles to contract faster and more powerfully with each stride, engaging the key muscles and the fast twitch fibers of your lower body so they respond faster and develop stronger.
14. If you are running busy streets is always safer to run against the traffic flow. This allows you to spot distracted drivers and give you time to maneuver in case a car comes close to you.
15. Always maintain eyes on the horizon. Not only is a way to stay safe against distracted drivers, but also a way to maintain proper running form.
16. Deal with sunlight and don’t underestimate it. Sun exposure can have negative long term effects. When running under sunlight make sure to wear protective clothing, visor, and proper running sunglasses.
17. When motivation is low, running groups are always a good idea. The social interaction can be a motivational booster to keep you in the game. Joining a running group can be a game changer for you.
18. The beginning of every run is always the hardest. Use them as warm ups and build pace progressively until your body is naturally into it. Don’t push your runs at the beginning.
19. When buying running shoes is always a good idea to buy half size to one size bigger. This gives enough room in case you decide to add insoles and also keeps your shoe roomy to deal with the natural swelling that occurs when running.
20. Check your running shoes regularly and make sure they don’t exceed their useful mileage. Worn out shoes can increase your risk of injuries. If the midsole is worn out and you know you’ve run them more than 300 miles, it is time for new running shoes!
22. Make sure your protein intake is sufficient in order to support muscle recovery and avoid injuries. Exactly how much protein do you need as a runner? Click here to find out.
23. Are you hitting the floor in every stride like you are a tap dancer? You need to soften the stride and relax your run. A heavy heel strike can end up in injury. Readjust and look for a lighter stride.
24. Don’t go out for long runs with an empty stomach. When doing longs your body will use carbs (glycogen reserve) or fats to maintain energy levels. If there is none, fatigue will kick in and you can end up damaging your body. Check these 5 quick carb loading meals before your runs.
25. Working at different pace levels can help you build power and speed. Make it fun and choose different points in your route to change pace. For example fast next block, slow following block. Repeat 2-3 times not to deter your run.
26. Include strength training as part of your training routine. Squats, lunges, and the rest of functional exercises are essential for every runner. No time for the gym? This Bodyboss portable gym solves this problem and gets you a workout like you didn’t skip gym day.
27. Upper body exercises should not be underestimated. A complete balanced body is key for every runner. Include core and upper body routines also as part of your strength training.
28. Cut toe nails. Those little sharply edges can actually interrupt a good day of running. Make sure to keep them trimmed and soft on the edges. Small details make a difference.
29. Extend the life of your running shoes by not using the washer and dryer on them. Wash them gently by hand if needed and dry them under shadowed spaces. Don’t dry them under the sun; it makes rubber material to deteriorate faster.
30. Avoid cotton material in your clothing. It absorbs moisture making it heavier on you. Use instead polyesters moisture wicking materials that will give you lighter runs.
31. Invest in convenient and functional gear and accessories to make your runs more comfortable and safe. Some examples are these well padded socks, non bouncing running belt, aftershockz headphones, running sunglasses, visor, and the Sof Sole Insoles.
32. It’s ok to stop for a mild stretch in the middle of a run. If you feel your muscles are a little tight, a quick stop can reboot mentally and you can aid your muscles with a soft stretching.
33. Mild massaging is a good way to accelerate recovery on sore muscles, and applying it the night before a long run can be a good idea (gently and softly massage on affected area with baby oil for 10-15 mins). This is a good way to stimulate circulation to heal faster, plus a flexed muscle will stand a wider range of motion, which is key to avoid injuries.
Running should be a enjoyable experience, and paying attention to details can make the difference. Stay focused, train smart, make sure to take proactive action to stay away from injuries and watch your nutrition.
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We hope these tips can help you become a better runner.