The new year is in full swing and you may have set a running goal for 2019, but you’re not too sure how to get better as a runner to meet that goal. You’ve come to the right place. Lace up those shoes, get your running gear on, and improve your time by following these five simple guidelines listed below.
1. Be Consistent
It takes 21 days to create a habit, so stick to your training program to get the habit formed and the improvements started. Running can be a struggle sometimes, especially in the cold months, but you have to push through those days and be consistent in your training and always think of your end goal.
2. Include a Long Run
One of the cornerstones to any running program is the Long Run. Usually this is set to be completed on the weekend and done once a week, but this could vary depending on the program or runner. Let’s say your long run is 90 minutes, this type of time on your feet will give you so many benefits which can make you a better runner. As an aerobic activity, you’re training the heart which makes it more efficient and stronger. The consistent effort improves your muscular endurance by increasing capillary size which, in turn, sends more oxygen to the working muscles. At the same time that your muscular and circulatory system is becoming more efficient, your breathing capacity improves. The long run, when done correctly, results in a positive impact on your body, creates a more efficient runner and, you guessed it, equals faster times.
3. Run with Other People
Make your running social! Find a training partner or group to boost your running gains. Long runs become a time to chat as you’re going at a slower pace and workouts become fun because you’re leaning on each other to get through it. Accountability in your training will help you to push a little bit harder when you might otherwise want to back off. Another positive in training with a partner is they might also help you slow down on your recovery days which will leave you more energy for the harder days in your program.
4. Have a Goal or purpose
Having a purpose behind all of this training will help fuel your running and racing performance. Have a measurable goal, for example to finish a half marathon or run a certain time in a 10K or set up a more inspirational goal such as raising money for a charity or bringing awareness to an important cause. Whatever your goal or purpose make sure you remind yourself of it often as it will add fuel to your running!
5. Be Spontaneous
Sometimes we get into a habit of doing the same thing week in and week out. It’s time to be spontaneous. Change it up. Hit some hills, run on the sand, swim instead of run, just throw your training routine a little curveball. Be creative and keep it interesting! Happy running