How to become a better runner
Everyone is capable of becoming a better runner.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
It may be true that some people are born “natural runners,” with the ability to run long distances with ease that others envy.
Regardless of whether you find that running comes easily to you or if you struggle to run for one minute before losing your breath, there are several strategies that can produce tangible results in improving your comfort and enjoyment when you run.
Here are our top tips to become a better runner:
– Remember who you’re competing against
Running is a beautiful sport because you are competing against yourself. Forget about the people around you and focus on your own journey as you run. You don’t have to focus on improving times and personal records, either – you can judge how long you can comfortably run or how you feel during the day. As long as your focus is on yourself and not others, you are on the right track.
– Be consistent with your practice
Your body will naturally do what it remembers, so even if you’re a beginner runner, your body will get used to the motions of running if you maintain regular practice. This can begin as a once-a-week activity, building it up to 3 or eventually 5-6 times per week. You will find that when you get into the habit of running, it will become easier to not only get started but also to keep going when it feels difficult. Showing up is the hardest part!
– Be a beginner when you’re a beginner
One of the easiest ways to get discouraged is to expect to run as fast or as far as a seasoned runner when you are only just starting your journey. You will find the most success by remembering that you have so much potential for growth and that it is okay to be slow at the beginning.
– Start by running downhill
Running downhill is a great strategy for beginner runners to help build up their momentum, run for longer periods of time, and develop a positive attitude toward running. The momentum of moving downhill will make you feel fast and strong, and the endorphins released will get you excited for your next run. Soon, you will feel strong enough to take that energy onto flat and hilly plains.
– Choose an accountability partner
Although running is an individual sport, scheduling your runs with an accountability partner is a great method to force you to show up. It is best to find someone who is slightly more experienced or faster than you to challenge you as you push yourself to keep up. Consistency is key, so considering a running buddy may be the best way to hold yourself accountable to your new practice.
– Regularly practice running drills
Outside of actually going on runs, there are many drills that can help improve your running performance. Some of these drills include high knees, butt kicks, and hip mobility exercises that stretch your muscles and encourage the healthy movement of your joints.
– Purchase quality running shoes
Not all shoes are created equal, so going to a running store to find a shoe that fits your feet well can be monumental in providing comfort during your runs. Experts in the store can offer advice about the biomechanics of movement and which shoe will be most aligned with your body to provide a healthy running experience.
– Understand why people quit running
Perhaps the best strategy to stay consistent with running is to understand the triggers that commonly cause people to quit. People who quit running often achieve an injury through lack of stretching, have poor hydration, or lack of the consistency and discipline to achieve results.
Everyone is capable of becoming a better runner. Running is an incredible sport that anyone can try that allows them to strengthen their muscles while also challenging their cardiovascular endurance. The most difficult part about running is showing up, but if you stick to your goal and follow our tips, your runs will become easier in no time! For more tips on how to improve your exercise regime, check out Outrun Gravity.