How To Become A Better Runner – Top 10 Tips

Our top 10 tips on how to become a better runner in this week's blog.

1. Follow a routine

Many people don’t have a specific routine that they follow when going on runs, If you are this person then you need to stop now and plan a routine that suits you the most which you can follow when going on your runs. Sticking at a routine will get you more used to running different distances and eventually after a while of following your personalised routine you can then change it and make it harder to give yourself more of a challenge.

2. Correct running gear

Some people underestimate how important having the correct running gear is, this is one of the reasons why people get injured because they are wearing the wrong footwear. This does not mean you go out and spend a fortune on some running shoes, it just means that you should get a pair of running shoes that are most comfortable for you. You don’t always need to go for the best looking ones, remember that. Having correct and comfortable footwear will allow you to run further over different terrains such as, hard surfaces, rocky surfaces and even wet surfaces.

3. Improve your technique

No matter how long you have been doing something for there is always room for improvement. With running it Is all about your technique and I don’t just mean with running I also mean your breathing technique while running long distances, or even short sprints. Improving your running and breathing techniques can have a positive effect on your overall run. Breathing correctly will manage your heart rate so you do not run out of breath. Running correctly will minimise the risk of getting injured, it will also allow you to run more comfortably over different terrains.

4. Get stronger

Improving strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes will allow you to run further at a constant pace. The muscles in your legs won’t get as tired which means you will be able to last longer running continuously or running intervals.

5. Know your limits

Don’t go and run a marathon if you are only a beginner, there are many negatives like, getting injured because you are overdoing it and your body can’t handle it, this will or may cause injuries that are unwanted. These injuries could put you back a while which means you will have to redo all that training. Start off small and gradually build yourself up to go further and run over more challenging terrains.

6. Eat the right foods

This is one of the most important tips because food is what fuels your body to do everyday things, without food your body won’t be capable of doing half the things it does on a day to day now. Do not eat much unhealthy foods as this makes your body feel very drained and tired majority of the time. Eat the right carbohydrates such as potatoes and in the morning start your day off with porridge or even Weetabix, foods like these will give your body the most energy making sure you perform to your best.

7. Lose weight

This one is easier said than done of course, but small improvements each month can go a long way! Slow and steady with this CAN win the race. If you have excess weight on your body, it will make it more tough to run long distance. if you lose that weight then you will run carrying less weight which means that you’re putting less stress on your muscles, meaning they won’t get as tired as early so you can go further. The more weight you lose the easier it will be to run. Search for progress not perfection.

8. Rest and Recovery

ALWAYS make sure you rest, have your rest days this is how you will improve. Don’t feel guilty for having rest days, its better to have rest days rather than put your body through something it doesn’t want to do, this is where you will get injuries which will set you back. If you go for a jog every other day then the days you don’t go for a jog make sure you rest so your body is 100% ready for the next run, this will allow you to put your body to its full potential. Always make sure you recover fully from any injury no matter what it is. If you don’t rest it for long enough then the injury may happen again and this time it could be a lot worse.

9. Go for easy runs

You may be thinking, what’s the point in going for a run that doesn’t challenge your body? Well easy runs are the runs that get you mentally and physically ready for a big run you have coming up. They allow you to maintain your fitness while also letting your body recover from harder, tougher sessions. You have to make sure on these easy runs you don’t gradually increase the pace, this can happen without you even realising but the point of these runs are that they are supposed to be ‘easy’ it’s in the name!

10. Always warm down

Doing an effective warm down will improve muscle relaxation, remove waste products, reduce muscle soreness and bring the cardiovascular system back to resting levels. The reason behind a warm down or some may call it a cool down is that it helps prevent injuries and it also helps prevent lactic acid building up inside your working muscles. If lactic acid does build up inside your muscles, then they will stiffen up and ache and this is what you don’t want straight after a run! So make sure you prevent all of this from happening by doing an effective warm down, this could consist of doing a very light 2-minute jog and then stretching off afterwards.