Running… it’s for everyone!
How to Become a Better Runner
Like with anything, it is important to remember that there is always room for improvement. The tips listed below apply to anyone and everyone from beginning runners to running gurus. Though at first glance running may seem straight forward, there are actually quite a few minute details that you will soon realize make a HUGE difference.
- Reduce Tension in Your Hands: Many runners tend to hold tension in their upper body when they run. Surprisingly, staying loose with your hands and working to avoid those tightly clenched fists will allow your shoulders to relax. Simultaneously, this release of hand tension will also help you to conserve energy.
- Make Sleep a Priority: I am sure we have all heard it hundreds of time from our doctors to our parents, but it is detrimental to both your health and your running that you log enough hours of sleep. Being well rested will improve your athletic performance and reduce inflammation and potential joint pain. If you do happen to be injured, sleep will work its magic and speed up your recovery process too. Especially if you are an early morning runner, make sure that you are getting to bed on the earlier side so that you have enough time to recharge your battery for the next day.
- Budget Time for Foam Rolling: While it may be difficult to allocate enough time to exercise alone, you must also consider setting aside a minimum of 5 additional minutes for after you workout to foam roll. Why? Foam rolling will do more than simply stretch out your muscles. This process also aids in the recovery process and works to prevent injuries.
- Specialized Cross Training: Every time your foot strikes the ground, your muscles and tendons stretch out and then coil back in, much like a spring. This occurs so that your body can absorb the impact of your foot repeatedly hitting the ground. Specialized cross training, with an emphasis on power, will give your legs more energy and strength, making you run more optimally. Some exercises you can do to achieve this are box jumps, burpees, and/or weighted squats.
- Be Consistent With Pre-Run Food: It’s great to have a light snack of sorts before you hit the road or trail for a run. After all, you have to fuel the fun! Everybody digests food differently. What this means, is that as you run, you will need to pay close attention to what you eat, the amount you eat, and the time you eat before you run. This will help you to determine what formula works best for you. When you are first starting to experiment with this, start by eating two hours before you run, moving up the time in 15 minute increments until you find the ideal amount of time that feels right for you. Once you find this combination, stay consistent with it!
Now what are you doing still sitting here? With new ways to improve your running, we hope that you are excited to get out there! Time to hit the trails or the road and log some mileage with these new cool tips. Looking forward to hearing about your running adventures. Please feel free to post your comments below.