5 Habits To Become A Better Runner

These 5 habits will ensure you become a better runner. Ignore these at your own risk!running habits

Run in the morning

We’ve all been there. You wake up and don’t feel like running, so you put it off until lunch time. But you’re just too hungry so you tell yourself you will go running in the evening. But once the evening arrives, you either don’t feel like it, you’re too tired or there are family commitments preventing you from training. If this sounds familiar, commit to becoming a morning runner. I personally love to run in the mornings before most people wake up. It’s quite, the air is fresh, and I’ll go through the day with a feeling of accomplishment.

An added bonus of running in the morning is that you gain extra energy throughout your day due to the endorphins created by exercising.

Vary your routine

Don’t get stuck running the same road at the same pace. This won’t challenge your muscles enough and will get boring very fast. It’s best to experiment with new roads, new routes, and different training times. I prefer to run fast one day, and run slower but longer another day. This is the best way to challenge yourself and increase your stamina and capacity to run greater distances at much faster speeds.

Don’t be exhausted

Some people think they should be incredibly tired at the end of a run. This isn’t true. You should be comfortable at all times really. It’s OK to push the limits and get out of breathe, but there is no need to push yourself too hard. This tends to backfire, and can cause an increased risk of serious injuries.

It’s also important to stretch sufficiently before running and have an appropriate cool down period. Taking just 10 minutes to do this will increase your performance and drastically reduce the risk of injury.

Get wet

Swimming is a great way to boost your endurance. You use different muscles and it’s a great way to boost performance on non-running days. You shouldn’t run every single day, but you can use your off-days to go swimming. This is much easier on the joints and will actually increase your ability to run greater distances. Make sure you have 2 days where you do no exercise at all each week though. You don’t want to push yourself too much.

Eat healthier

Healthy food can increase your running speeds and distances. Your body will be able to be more resilient and you’ll have more energy when cutting down on bad foods such as junk food. Try eating more fruit and vegetables, and cut out some meat once in a while. You don’t need a strict diet, and you certainly don’t want to eat too little. You need the energy, so fuel up on carbohydrates and proteins.

Don’t over complicate the food part, as many people do. You might also want to increase your fiber intake to ensure you go more regularly. You don’t want to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a run!

Top Tips For Running A Marathon

Everyone seems to want to run a marathon these days, but few realize just how much practise and endurance it takes to successfully complete one. A marathon can be 26.2 miles of pain or 26.2 miles of pure pleasure depending on whether you trained sufficiently for it. With these tips, you’ll be more likely to finish the run, and maybe even finish among the top 10%!marathon tips

Prepare yourself mentally

Many people believe it’s all physical. From experience, this is definitely not true. Like most endurance sports, running is 80% mental. You need to first believe you can run the distance before you can physically do it. Professional athletes go as far as to visualize their races to enhance their performance. They see themselves crossing the finish line time and time again, until they truly believe that they can. Like the famous saying goes: “If you think you can’t do it, you’re probably right. If you think you can do it, you’re probably right”. So start believing in yourself. The best way to do that is to go out and run!

Here’s a video which will show you exactly what to expect. It’s pretty funny to watch this before going out to run.

Get the right shoes

While have the latest technology isn’t necessary, it is vital that you have comfortable shoes on. The shoes should be sturdy but lightweight and your socks should be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Do not buy new shows just before the race. Ensure you train in them to get used to them and avoid shoe-related injuries. If your running shoes bother you while training, it’s best to buy a new pair. Otherwise you will be in agony from the very start.

Start small

If you’ve never done a marathon, why not start with a half marathon or even a 5k run. This will build up your stamina and confidence. It’s best to build yourself up in stages and not push your limits too far. I see many participants quit halfway because they overestimated how difficult it can be, or worse get injured due to improper training.

Keep hydrated

Make sure you drink plenty. It’s easy to forget to drink, but dehydration can cause serious injury and impact your performance. You could use sport drinks to refuel your energy. You can either run with a drink or place drinks along the route.

Dress well

I see many people run in cotton t-shirts. According to Runner’s World that’s a big mistake. Materials such as nylon will be much more comfortable and will let you breathe. As with shoes, practice running with your clothing first to ensure it doesn’t irritate you too much.

Whether you’re doing a 5k run, a half marathon, or a full marathon; following these tips will ensure you survive! You might even beat your personal record if you try hard enough.