What’s inexpensive, boosts your mental and physical health, and doesn’t require you to learn a new system of rules? It’s running! Despite these advantages, you may forget about them all a few miles into your first run when you’re huffing and puffing and feeling like your lungs are about to burst.
No matter if you’re a seasoned runner or recently picked up a running habit, there’re plenty of things you can do to improve your performance. Use these tips to get back to enjoying everything about running while becoming a better athlete.
Bring Useful Accessories
While you don’t have to pack equipment or tools for running, having a few of the right accessories on you is half the battle won. Keep your running kit light by only bringing breathable, lightweight, and sweat-slicking items with you.
Think about the weather and the time of day when you run. Running headlamps are a reliable, hands-free light source for when runs go longer than you expect and when bad weather approaches. Rechargeable headlamps also help you feel secure while running alone or in an unfamiliar environment.
Run With a Plan
No matter your reason for running, be it to prepare for a marathon or clear your head, have a plan. Running with a strategy makes the exercise more enjoyable and more effective.
You can work with a coach or trainer to create a personalized running plan, or you can download a free plan offline. No matter which you choose, understanding the logic behind an approach helps you recognize whether it aligns with your goals and physical capabilities.
While putting a running strategy into action, focus on your energy levels during runs, how you feel after runs, and whether you recover well post-run. These details inform your plan and help you understand where to tweak parts of your strategy to enjoy better results.
Join a Running Club
You likely aren’t the only person in your area who enjoys running. Search for local running clubs to join, so you stay motivated, find new places to run, and learn new running tips, all while making friends.
Other than searching online, see if local sporting goods stores and running stores operate running groups. Then, find out whether groups you like have runners who match your distance and pace, so you feel comfortable joining other athletes at your current level. Before joining a group, you may need to share your run pace in miles per minute, your most recent long-distance run, your average weekly mileage, and your recent race times, so have those details on hand when speaking with contact people.
Choose Your Shoes Carefully
While shopping for running shoes, think about the environments and terrains you navigate. If you do a lot of off-road training, shoes with a built-up heel may do more harm than good if they unbalance you and put you at risk of twisting an ankle. Trail-running shoes with deep studs on the outsoles don’t do well on paved roads. The studs may dig into the soles of your feet while you move.
If your foot rolls inward while you move, that’s called overpronating. What happens is the edge of your foot touches the ground first, then you roll your foot inward onto the arch. Stability shoes are reinforced on the arch side of the shoe, so you evenly distribute the impact of running. If you aren’t sure whether you overpronate, have a running store employee check your gait, so you get the shoes you need to run your best and feel comfortable.
With so many benefits and opportunities to challenge yourself, running checks all the boxes. See how these insights help you unleash your inner Olympic-level athlete.