Running is one of the best exercises that you can do, and this is regardless of whether you want to shed some weight or just improve your overall well-being. Also, it provides a good opportunity to give your mind some break from the everyday stress. And it will keep your heart in good shape, and also help you deal with insomnia and anxiety.
There are many other benefits of running, and if you do it often enough then you can already see them. But are you getting the best results from the few kilometers you run every other day? Well, running looks straightforward, but there is more to it than just moving from one point to the other briskly. You also need to make sure that you are at peak running performance to get the most benefits. And here are some useful tips to help you with this.
Tip 1: Hydrate
Failing to take enough water might be the reason why your running performance is not where you would want. And so it is important to make sure that you take enough of it before the run, when running and after you finish. But, it should also be clear that you cannot just take in a lot of water at a go as it will make it hard for you to run. Instead, you should be drinking a little at a time as you move one to replace the fluid that you lose through sweating as you run.
Tip 2: Get Strong
It is obvious that if you are not strong enough you will not perform very well when running, and you might not attain your targeted distance. Also, you will be more prone to running injuries such as pain on outside of foot after running. And so if you want to improve your running performance, you should start by getting strong. For this, you will need to do functional multi-joint exercises such as lunges and squats, and also some simple exercise like the clam. These exercise help to prevent muscle imbalances which can affect running performance. Also, they will activate and strengthen your weak and inactive muscles to improve your performance.
Tip 3: Avoid Long Strides
Leaping forward in long strides is an inefficient way of running and it also drains a lot of energy. Rather, you should stand tall and lean forward a little for balance and then take some short and effective strides. The short strides mean that there will be less movement in the joints, and hence less wear and tear and improved efficiency when running. Also, the less movement that results from taking shorter strides helps to give your joints a longer and healthier life.
Tip 4: Change your Shoes
Your shoes are the most important clothing item for running as they support your feet. Hence it is important to make sure that you have the best pair if you want to improve your running efficiency and performance. The simple rule is always to go for ones that are specifically for running and make sure that the fit, cushioning and support is top notch. Also, remember to change your shoes often enough, which in most cases is after every 300 to 500 miles. As your shoes age, they will lose some of their cushioning and stability which will affect everything from your gait and endurance to your overall performance. The worn out shoes will also increase your risk of injury significantly.
Tip 5: Time Your Runs
You need to time your runs if you are serious about improving your performance. Even if you do all the above, you cannot be sure whether you are improving or not if you do not know how much time you take to cover a certain distance. Timing also makes it easy to increase the intensity of your runs as you can set a goal to increase the amount of distance that you cover within a certain time such as 30 minutes. Also, timing your running makes it possible to monitor your progress which can be very useful in boosting your confidence and encouraging you to continue working harder.
Running for a few kilometers a few times every week is one of the best ways to stay fit. And it keeps everything from the heart to the lungs and your metabolism at peak performance. But, to get maximum benefits from your runs, you have to make sure that you are doing it right and with the right intensity. And with our five handy tips above, you should now have an easier time trying to improve your running performance.