Starting running can seem pretty tough, but once you get into the routine you will find how satisfying and mentally therapeutic it really is. Going for a short run at the start of the day can help you face the day with a more positive attitude, or after a long day it can help you release any negativity you encountered. Running is the kind of exercise that helps you monitor your progress very clearly. You might start off not being able to jog for 200m and, if you’re consistent, training for your 5km run before you know it. So, whether you are a running newbie or have been running for years, we have some tips to help you get faster and enjoy the run more.
Get the Right Shoes
Running is one of the most accessible sports. All you need is a good pair of shoes and some determination. That being said, that pair of shoes will make or break your workout. The time and money you spend finding the right size, fit, and feel for you will definitely pay off in the long term. The right running shoes will absorb the impact of your feet hitting the floor, meaning less stress on your knees and a faster recovery time after each run. The more you can run, the better your performance will get!
Pump Up Some Tunes
One of the most enjoyable things about running is being able to (quite literally) block the world out and synchronize the sound of your favorite music with the movement of your body. Not only is it enjoyable, but the right music can help you push further and run faster. Research shows that music can boost performance by up to 15%.
Fuel Your Body
The right pre-run snack will provide your body with the energy it needs to keep pushing and maximize your training. You need to choose something that will provide your body with fuel without leaving you feeling heavy or bloated. Grab a banana, fruit smoothie, or energy bar 30-45 minutes before you start your run.
Run with Proper Form
Running might seem pretty straight forward, but having correct form and engaging your whole body will boost performance, help you see results faster, and prevent injuries. Next time you head out for a run use the pointers below:
Head: Keep your head stacked over your spine, avoid tilting it up or down.
Shoulders: Roll your shoulders back and do not hunch your upper body forward.
Arms: Keep your elbows at 90 degree angles, your arms shouldn’t move across your midline while you are running.
Hands: As you start getting tired, you might automatically start clenching your firsts. Always make sure you are running with a slightly open fist to avoid tensing your body and maintain a sense of relaxation.
Core: Engage your abs, hips, and belly in order to avoid putting too much pressure on your spine. If you experience lower back problems after a run, that’s because your core was not engaged.
Feet: Decrease the impact on your ankles and knees by landing softly on your midfoot and quickly moving onto your toes while pushing off the ground.
Drinking water before and during your run is extremely important to prevent fatigue, reduce cramps, and ensure constant delivery of oxygen to your muscles. The best way to know how much water to drink is to listen to your body, and remember over-hydration can be just as dangerous as under-hydration.
Stretch it Out
You might not feel like moving or stretching after you’ve given it your all during an intense run, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your body to improve recovery time and get you ready for your next session. Muscles that have been stretched are more receptive to glycogen storage, so the more you stretch the more energy will be stored in your body for next time. It also means you will be able to walk the next day, which is always a plus!