I am currently training for a half-marathon. After completing my first 10k, my training kind of went downhill because I had shin splints that I just could not get rid of. Finally I decided I should rest my legs and took up biking instead of running. Now that my shins feel 100% I need to kick it into high gear and make up for lost time!
I have done tons of research and implemented a lot of new ‘rules’ for myself, and now I’m sharing them with you! Here are 7 Ways to be a Better Runner:
- Fuel your body with the right food. The saying “You can’t out Exercise a Bad Diet” is so true. You can’t take a 2mile run and then eat a cheeseburger. You need to fuel your body the right way if you want to see maximum results. Eating processed foods and junk foods can increase inflammation in the body. When you have already worked out and your muscles need to recover, junk food is a terrible idea. After or before runs you should opt for high quality carbs and proteins.
- Wear the right shoes. When I started running I didn’t wear the right shoes, and it hurt. You can get fitted for shoes at a running store and they will be able to tell you what kind of shoes you need. If you don’t want to get fitted by a pro, you need to find out how high your arch is, and whether you underpronate, overpronate, or stride normally. You can check out Runner’s World Shoe Finder for your perfect fit.
- Be consistent. Practise makes perfect and you will become a better runner by running. If you keep taking long periods of time off from running you need to build up your conditioning back up, every time. Stick to a training schedule and push yourself to get out there regularly. There are lots of programs to try, like Couch to 5k, or the Couch to Half-Marathon plan, which is the program I am currently using!
- Do some Yoga. There are tons of free yoga resources out there. Pick one and add it to your weekly workouts. Yoga has so many benefits from weight loss, to stress management, to helping you become a better runner! Yoga will help you loosen and stretch out your tight joints, this will help relieve pain and prevent injury.
- Make sure you cross train. While you may want to focus only on running, you need to make sure you are doing other forms of cardio to give your body a break so your body can recover. Focusing only on running can result in injuries from over-using your muscles. Choose a form of cardio that will help your running performance, like biking, elliptical and water running.
- Don’t forget to strength train. Strengthen muscles like your abs, back, legs and arms to compliment your running. Strength training will help prevent injuries and improve your performance. Check out this easy strength workout for runners for a quick and effective workout.
Above all, make sure you stay motivated.
Try signing up for a race and picking a training program that works for you!