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How do i Become a Better Runner?

by / Thursday, 25 February 2016 / Published in sport

Here’s my light-hearted rundown (pun intended) on running and what will make you go faster… or at the very least confuse you enough to make you think you are faster!

 

Gear – you’ll need to get a new pair of runners, you’ve had them for more than 300 miles.  Doesn’t matter if you still find them comfy and you cant get the colour anymore, get your credit card out! While you are at it get a couple of pairs of special running socks, running shorts and a running top, some reflective gear for night-time runs, gloves and a hat for the cold weather, some compression gear as everyone is wearing it now and it just MIGHT help speed/recovery/endurance/world peace. Oh and get a couple of everything, sure you dont want to be seen wearing the same gear every night! Few hundred quid should do it, but hey its still cheaper than the gym!

theres plenty more miles in them :)

        Theres plenty more miles in them 🙂

 

Running style – get your gait analysis done when you buy the runners, or they will have a mind of their own and might break your legs.  We all run differently, none of us have the perfect style and those runners have to fit like gloves (or shoes).

Surface – you need to vary your running surface, all that running on concrete is gonna hurt. Some runs on grass, trail & sand should suffice, even if you have to drive there (I know kinda defeats the purpose). Or you could try a treadmill but don’t fall asleep ZZzzz.  If you are doing laps believe it or not running the same lap direction all the time can weaken muscles on one leg compared to the other… so vary your direction or run backwards 🙂

Recovery – Its not all about running, rest and recovery are just as important so don’t overdo it. Get extra sleep and when you are not exercising get the feet up and relax.  Don’t worry about family, other duties or hobbies, you are a runner now J Get any injuries seen to immediately, don’t let them get worse, get on the treatment table and get your credit card out again.

The dreaded runners knee

The dreaded runners knee

Time of day – try and vary the times you run as there are various benefits associated running in the morning, at night etc. Be careful where you run at night, visibility is important as is location – although running through some dodgy estates might help you improve your speed!

Technology – Make sure you have a heart rate monitor so you can look at it and wonder what it means whilst trying to remember what zone you should be in. A GPS watch is a must so you can tell where in the world you are to the nearest millimetre and running with that brick on your wrist will also increase your calorie count. Don’t forget that special App on your smartphone so you can show off your better runs on social media and delete the rest.

Sessions – there are some key sessions to include in your training regime: fast runs, tempo runs, long runs and fartlek.  Fartlek isn’t what I thought it was… boy did I get that wrong!

Drills – if you want to improve your run mechanics there are some drills you can do: bounding, skipping, lunging, sideways, backwards, heels up & knees up should do it, just don’t forget to run normally sometimes.

All shapes and sizes!

                            All shapes and sizes!

 

Nutrition – don’t go out on an empty stomach but don’t go out on a full one either. Make sure you are eating the right food, plenty of carbs for energy and protein for recovery… oh and you are a runner now so you will think you can eat as much crap as you like guilt free J Take a few gels on long runs to keep you going, or a bag of sugar whichever you prefer.

Cross Training – ok so running might just get a little (lot) boring… but its ok because you are recommended to mix it up with other sports.  Cycling, swim, weights, walking (ie v.slow running) and gym classes all offer positive benefits if you have any spare time left at all and need another excuse to get away from the family.  Oh and don’t forget yoga/Pilates apparently to be a runner they are even more important than running!  “Its all about the core you know.”

Group – join a running group it will help your motivation.  But ideally run with people you don’t like so there will be no talking and you can focus on your running…

Races – you need a focus, running just for the love of running is not allowed. You must focus and train for something so much that you start to hate running! There are loads of races nationwide, all guaranteed to cause sleepless nights and empty your wallet. Sign up now and once you do a distance you just gotta go farther the next time!

 

So that’s it! Just radically change your way of life and devote most hrs of the day to run organisation and planning, worship 3 times daily at the altar of the running gods and you’ll cut literally seconds off your PB.  Or you can just run for the enjoyment, decide what works for you and tweak / adjust things as you see fit, gradually building up the distance / speed.  Your choice 🙂  Some day you could be running insane distances like this madman…. Doing 60 ultra marathons in 60 days 😮  http://steveysepicadventure.com/

PS if you really want to improve your running just follow us on twitter where most days we tweet about the latest research  in running science with tips and tweaks to help you improve.

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