1. Running is a great form of exercise and provides numerous health benefits. Improved cardiovascular health, reducing stress and increasing energy and stamina are just a few of the benefits of running on a regular basis. Whether you are an experienced runner or are a beginner looking to start a running program, the following offers running form tips and more to help you improve your running performance.

     Watch your form

    Running with proper form is very beneficial since it puts less stress on your joints and will enable you to run further and faster. Always make sure you are looking straight ahead while running and never down at your feet. Doing this will help to ensure that you have correct posture and an excellent view of what is directly in front of you. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your back should be straight, which will help with breathing and maintaining performance. Keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and swing your arms forwards and backwards. Your hands should remain relaxed in an unclenched fist. As your foot strikes the ground, it is best to land on the middle of your foot and roll off your toes, rather than landing on either your heels or toes. Doing so will lead to running efficiently, and most importantly, safely and pain free.

    Keep a running log

    A running log is a great way to track your progress and see how far you have come since starting a running program. Writing down the days that you run and your total time and distance is highly motivating since you can see that you can run further and for a longer period of time in comparison to when you first started running. Seeing these kind of strength gains will make you more likely to commit yourself to a regular running schedule so you can keep seeing results.

    Stay hydrated

    Maintaining adequate hydration is an important element in running, and staying hydrated can improve your performance, increase your energy and ward off dehydration. An hour or two before you start to run, it is best to drink 16-24 ounces of water to make sure you are properly hydrated throughout your run. If necessary, drink water or a sports drink whenever you feel thirsty while running. Maintaining hydration after you are done running is equally as important, and you should drink water or a sports drink after your run to rehydrate and replace any electrolytes lost while running.

    Warm up and cool down

    It is never a good idea to jump into your running routine without a proper warm up. A brief warm up will prepare your body for your run and increase oxygen flow to muscles and reduce your chance of injury. Prior to running, begin with 5-10 minutes of brisk walking and then gradually build into running. After running, cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking and then do some stretching to improve your flexibility and reduce the chances of sore muscles after running.

    Running Shoes

    Finding the right pair of running shoes is essential for runners. A good pair of running shoes can help your performance and also protect your joints while running. There are many factors to consider when buying a running shoe. What type of surface you run on, style of running, and the shape and size of your foot are all things to consider. To find the right running shoe for you, it is recommended that you go to a specialty shoe store since they will be the most equipped to find a running shoe that meets your needs. Try on several shoes to see how they fit, since a shoe that doesn’t fit properly will only hinder your running performance. Keep in mind that the typical running shoe will last for about 300-400 miles and that you will need to get a new pair of running shoes once they wear out.

    Run with a friend

    Sometimes everyone needs a little extra motivation to actually get out the door to run outside or at the gym. Running with a friend can give you that extra little burst of motivation, especially on days when running seems like the last thing you want to do. Running with a friend creates a great support system and you will be able to motivate each other to consistently stick with a running plan and achieve your running goals.

    Strength Train

    The addition of a strength training routine into your running program provides numerous benefits and will help with preventing injury and improving running performance. Try adding squats, lunges and calf raises into your routine and you will see an increase in overall leg strength and an increase in overall speed. It’s also important to not neglect your upper body muscles either. Basic upper body exercises such as bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and pushups will increase your upper body strength and propel your running performance even further.

    Cross Train

    Cross training, or engaging in another sport, is a great way to prevent injuries and keep you from getting bored with your running routine. Even though running is an excellent form of exercise, it can get boring if it’s the only form of exercise that you do. Cross training allows you to train and strengthen muscles that you don’t use as much while you are running, which will prevent injury. Try adding one or two cross training days into your routine. Some excellent cross training exercises include swimming, riding a bike, walking, or using an elliptical machine.

    Eat healthy

    Eating healthy sets a strong foundation for your running program and what you eat before and after running has a strong effect on your overall performance. Aim to eat a low fat diet that contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. These types of foods will provide the fuel that your body needs for optimal performance while running. Avoid sugary, high fat foods since they are more likely to make you feel sluggish and lethargic and will impede your performance. Eating a meal high in carbohydrates about an hour or two before running will provide you with the energy that you need while running. After running, it is important to eat a meal high in protein and carbohydrates to refuel your muscles and to optimize muscle recovery and minimize soreness. Putting peanut butter on a bagel, eating a low fat yogurt, or a nutrition bar after running will provide the necessary protein that your muscles need after running.

    Get enough sleep

    While everyone needs to get plenty of sleep, runners need to make sure that they are getting enough rest so that they have adequate energy to run at a high level. Sleeping well also allows muscles to recover and get stronger. Try not to drink anything containing caffeine and avoid eating a big meal a few hours before bed to help you fall asleep easier.

    While there are many tips that you can refer to while running, these tips are easy to follow and will have a major impact on your running performance. They will help you to run safely and efficiently and allow you to run at an optimal level.

Leave a Reply