How to Improve Your Running

You’ve taken the first steps in your new fitness journey and you’re actually enjoying running! It seems though that you’ve plateaued and you’re not getting any faster and your distance seems to stay relatively the same. So, how can you improve on this? 

We have come up with some great top tips for general running, but if you’re looking for how to improve your 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon times, then you can check out our handy guides! 

What can I do to improve? 

Join a running club

For many people joining a running club is a scary idea as there’s a misconception that they’ll be pressured to run really fast or they’ll be left behind or forced to leave the club, but this is not the case! Running clubs want you to join and become a part of their community, they are there to help and encourage. It’s also a great way of improving your running as they will support you and there’ll be plenty of people available to give advice and there might even be a coach or trainer in the club. 

Joining a running club is not just a way to help improve your running, it’s also a great way to find other runners who are at the same level as you and make friends. You can find a list of running clubs in England here.

Find the correct shoes

When you begin running, you might have just bought some standard running shoes to get you going. However, if you wish to improve then your trainers may be holding you back! 

Go and get your gait analysis done and ask the assistant for help with finding your perfect running shoe. There are so many to choose from, that if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you may get overwhelmed and pick the wrong shoes. 

Running shoes need to be comfortable and most runners prefer to go up half a size or a full size than their regular shoes to give their feet the chance to breathe and expand when running. Once you get that perfect fit for your feet, there’ll be no stopping you!

Do a warm up

How can a warm up improve your running? Well, it helps get your heart beating faster, it gets your limbs warmed up,  and this will mean you’ll be able to run for longer distances and potentially at a quicker pace. Warm-ups are important to ensure you’re not running on a cold body and reduce the risk of injury and painful joints. 

Pace yourself

Running as fast as you can at the start of your run, will wear you out and you won’t be able to up your distance or keep the pace up. Setting off slower, even if it’s much slower than normal pace. Starting off slow and building up the pace will work in your favour every time. 

This leads us back to joining a running club, there’ll be people in the club who will run at the same pace as you and be able to guide you through how to set off at a comfortable pace before getting quicker throughout the run. 

Pacing yourself will ultimately help you control your runs when you start increasing your distance as well! 

Cross training

Running is a great way of keeping fit, but mixing it up with some cross-training will make you stronger and build your core muscles up. As these core muscles are vital when running, making them as strong as possible will only help you improve. 

Getting these muscles stronger will help improve your breathing, which in turn will improve your pace and the distance you can cover. 

Keep up a good diet

Making sure that you’re eating right and staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do as a runner. Getting this right will help you improve your pace, fitness and distance over time. 

We’re not saying to cut out all snacks but be aware of what you’re eating before and after a run and listen to your body. Getting to know what you can and can’t eat before a run is always trial and error but it will come over time. 

Staying hydrated is also important – your body needs water especially during exercise due to you losing moisture in sweat. If you don’t like carrying a bottle of water, make sure you have a drink ready in your car or at home ready to go when you’ve finished. 

Improving your running doesn’t have to be difficult, involve loads of steps or be overly expensive. Doing one thing at a time is also advised, so you can get used to something before you put something else into the mix.

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