As the weather changes, temperatures drop and the roads become snow covered, you often reevaluate your summer goal of becoming a runner; the novelty has worn thin. With our tips and our treadmills, you’ll be able to stick it out long enough to see nice running weather again.
Here are 7 tips to improve your running that can resonate with the newest ‘jogger’ to the seasoned athlete.
Get the Right Shoes
Take the time, spend the money, and have someone who knows what they are talking about look at your feet, your gait, and make sure they watch you run – isn’t that what you’re buying these shoes for? If the store doesn’t have a treadmill, back away! Your feet, knees, hips and even back will thank you for this.
Create a Habit
Fitness goals can be hard to keep, and it takes 21 times of doing something before it becomes a habit. Not 21 days, 21 times – so first, ask yourself if you have gone for 21 runs since you made your intention.
Pick an Event
It’s easier if you have a race or charity event to work toward. Once a race schedule is set, you’ll get really excited about the upcoming season and more motivated to train. If your competitive side isn’t all that strong, find an event that benefits a cause that matters to you. What could be more motivating than running and raising money for an organization you care about?
Make a Plan
For a 5 km race you might be able to trot along for a few months beforehand and do okay, but for anything longer, or if you think you might get competitive, you need a plan. There are too many programs to list, and one size does not fit all, so if something isn’t working for you don’t be afraid to change it up. The “Couch to 5K” and “Couch to 10K” apps are popular; both are very user-friendly and beginner-based programs. If you’re looking for something a little different, try the book “Run Less: Run Faster”. It has programs for 5 km, 10 km, half and full marathons focusing on three key runs per week of varying speeds and distances.
Pump Up the Volume
Use music as your motivator. For example, if you’re focusing on having a run cadence of 120-180 steps per minute, make sure every song on your playlist is at least 120 beats per minute. iTunes has many running playlists to choose from; re-vamp your tunes often to prevent boredom.
You Can’t Out-Run a Bad Diet
This goes for any type of exercise but no matter how many miles you’re putting in, you don’t get a free pass in the kitchen. Nutrition is a very important component. A runner needs to fuel their body with clean eating, lots of vegetables, whole-grain carbs, lean protein and plenty of water.
Branch Out in Your Training
You can’t become a better, stronger, faster runner by just running. Hit the weights and strengthen your legs, arms and core, practice yoga to increase flexibility and try some cross training for aerobic training with less impact.