How to Become a Better Runner

If you’re a runner at heart and want to improve your running- be it fun, prepping for a marathon or even if you’re looking to exceed your personal best; here are some great tips that will take you metres ahead!


1.Create goals/ milestones

If you’re looking to improve some aspect of your running, say - speed, endurance, distance covered in a shorter time etc; you’re going to need to set specific goals. Sometimes they will need milestones. Once you’ve figured that out, plan and structure your workouts based on what you look to achieve. Having goals in mind with a plan will help you improve your performance faster!


2. Evaluate your shoes

Runners typically are known to invest in a new pair of shoes after an average of every 300 - 500 miles. Getting yourself a new pair of shoes before they completely wear out would be a great idea. You don’t want your performance to suffer because of worn out shoes!


3. Strength Train for a minimum of 10 minutes

Engaging in strength training workouts before a run will help you sustain yourself for a longer period of time. Strength workouts, especially body workouts will build endurance and help your core. We all know that runners have strong cores.


4. Finish with strides

Strides can be a great way to maintain speed while running. They’re basically short, approximately 100 metre accelerations that will get your legs to move a little faster.


5. Hydrate

Many believe that you need to flush yourself with large quantities of water while running to sustain yourself. However, that’s not entirely true. Drink according to how thirsty you feel. As long as you keep an adequate supply of your drink around during your runs, you will naturally drink enough to enhance your performance. Over-drinking can cause gastrointestinal upsets or hyponatremia.


6. Take a rest day

Take at least one easy day after every hard day of training. This means a short workout or taking the day off. Your body requires a period of rest to recover and function in full force again. Apply the hard/easy rule to your monthly and yearly training cycles by treating yourself to one easy week each month, and one easy month each year. However, if you’re 40 years or older, it is advisable to wait for 2 - 3 days before your next hard run day.


7. If training for a race, emphasize carbohydrates in your diet

Experts say that emphasizing carbs in your diet a few days before a race works well. Carbohydrate loading is meant to store extra glycogen that your muscles can tap into once the normal stores are used up; and is effective for endurance events lasting longer than 90 minutes, such as marathons, ultra marathons, and triathlons.

Post run, having a meal that is rich in combination of carbohydrates and protein or a beverage within 30 to 60 minutes after any race, speed workout, or long run helps repair and build your muscles.


8. Switch up your workouts aka don’t just run

Runners who only run tend to be prone to injury. Incorporating workouts for strength, resistance and using weights make you stronger as a runner since you’re working on all round strength and endurance. TriEndurance.com multisport coach Kris Swarthout says, “Low- and non-impact sports like biking and swimming will help build supporting muscles used in running, while also giving your primary running muscles a rest.”


9. Maintain an even pace

Most of the 10,000-meter and marathon world records set in the last decade have featured almost metronome-like pacing. Maintaining an even pace during long runs will help you get there better than if you ran faster. The longer the race, the slower your pace.


10. Lactate-threshold or tempo-run pace is about the pace you can maintain when running all-out for one hour

Based on the rule where the longer you run the slower your pace needs to be; this pace is about 20 seconds slower per mile than your 10K race pace, or 30 seconds slower per mile than 5K race pace. “The key benefit of this pace is that it’s fast enough to improve your threshold for hard endurance running, yet slow enough that you don’t overload your muscles,” says Daniels.


11. Do your longest training runs at least three minutes per mile slower than your 5K race pace

RW “Starting Line” columnist Jeff Galloway says that there’s nothing called running too slow, “because there are no drawbacks to running them slowly. Running them too fast, however, can compromise your recovery time and raise your injury risk.”