Many people run for fun, some people run for fitness, and others run to finish first. Regardless of your purpose for running, there is a certainty that you want to make serious strides to become a better runner. Well, the truth is, becoming a better runner is a pretty simple endeavor. All you need to do is follow the seven simple steps that I have listed in this article and you will see massive improvements in your running.
1. Eat better:
It is certainly not a good idea to go running on an empty stomach. Hunger pangs are a distraction that can sabotage your run. Similarly, avoid running on a full stomach. Making such a mistake will result in a bad case of indigestion and acid reflux. You want to make sure that there is adequate time between eating and running. Importantly, eat the right things. Make sure to consume protein, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables. The protein will provide your muscles with vital building materials. The complex carbohydrates will give you a steady supply of energy. The fruits and vegetable will supply your body with vital minerals and electrolytes. Also, stay away from simple carbs because they will result in a drastic blood sugar spike followed by a sugar crash that will have you feeling totally wiped out.
2. Drink better:
The liquids you drink before running can have a significant effect on your performance. They can either help or hinder your progress toward becoming a better runner. Water is on the top of the list of liquids to drink before running, and not drinking enough of it will certainly lead to dehydration. It is also wise to drink liquids that can replenish the valuable nutrients you use up through physical exertion and lose through sweating. You can make your own citrus juices or purchase specialized sports drinks, both of which are rich in electrolytes. Finally, never drink milkshakes, sodas, alcohol, or any thick and highly sugary liquids before, during, or after running.
3. Stretch better:
Foreplay is to lovemaking, as stretching is to running. Before you begin your run, be certain to spend time warming up your muscles. It is advised that you stretch for at least five minutes before you begin running. Stretching prevents injury by preparing your muscles and joints for exertion. In addition, stretching also prepares your cardiovascular and respiratory system for activity. Take time out to stretch because running cold can be detrimental to any dreams you may have of becoming a better runner.
4. Run better:
Running is all about technique. That technique has everything to do with posture, stride, swing, and grace. The more graceful you become as a runner, the better you become at running. Graceful running will help you to conserve energy and prevent injuries as you run. To improve your running form, pay very close attention to great runners and adopt their technique? You can also improve your running form by paying close attention to yourself as you run and make adjustments to any part of your body that is not moving and holding up in a graceful manner. In addition, running better also involves running more and on a consistent basis.
5. Breathe better:
Proper breathing is essential to you becoming a better runner. Your breathing is directly linked to how your body produces energy and fuels your muscles. In addition, the manner in which you breathe as you run indicates your level of fitness and determines how well you run. If your breathing is erratic, your heart will follow the same erratic patter. Not to mention, erratic breathing also leads to severe dryness of the mouth and throat. This dryness increases discomfort and stress level. Therefore, pace your breaths, develop rhythm, and maintain that rhythm. With this, your body will fall into a steady tempo that will propel and maintain you as you run. Also, breathe deep and complete breaths.
6. Think better:
Running can be a very arduous activity. As a result, running can put a great deal of strain on your mind. To combat the incidence of mental strain, make it a case to get into a positive state of mind before you start running. An upbeat mentality will impact your attitude and therefore make the process of running a whole lot easier. In fact, the great attitude can be a major source of energy which can help you move closer to becoming a better runner. Running to your favorite music, a great audio book, or running in very scenic areas can boost your attitude and make your running more enjoyable. Another important point to consider is visualization. When you are running, visualize yourself reaching and surpassing your goals.
7. Dress better:
What you wear running is very important. Do not wear clothing that is too large or too tight. Select garments made from breathable materials. It is also very important for you to pay attention to the season. During cold months, wear adequate layers. During hot months, wear outfits that will keep your body cool and prevent overheating. Wearing improper clothing can also make you feel very self-conscious and uncertain of yourself. Most importantly, be certain to wear appropriate running shoes. Failing to wear proper running shoes will increase your risk of sustaining short and long-term injuries that could prevent you from attaining and maintaining your ‘better’ running goals. Basketball, Tennis, and Soccer cross-trainers are not good for running distances. Therefore, do not wear them when you go running. Stick with shoes that are made specifically for running. Also, make sure the shoes fit comfortably.
Enjoy your run and be safe!