Running is a great form of exercise because it can be done anywhere, at anytime, and it’s free! We wrote previously about how running is one of the sports that burns the most calories (here), and have even previously given you tips on how to increase your running endurance (here). Today, however, we thought it would be a good idea to give you all some tips to make running easier, so you can build and excel at it even if you are just starting out.
- Stretch: Stretch for 5-10 minutes before your warm-up, then again after your run. This also helps prevent injury.
- Start slow… Then pick up the pace as you get warmer. This is a technique used by many elite runners and endurance athletes.
- Eat more often: Smaller meals at frequent intervals are better for your health. Many people don’t eat enough to support their running habit- and 5-6 small, nutritionally balanced meals a day is healthier than 3 large meals.
- Weight training: Specifically training the quads and core will benefit runners most. The quadriceps are key to lifting your legs off the ground. Here’s a little exercise that can help, and be done at your desk. Put one ankle over the other, then lift and straighten the lower leg 10 times. Do several sets. You’ll feel it just above the knee and it will help with running.
- Take shorter strides: This will make running feel easier. A new study also suggests that this technique can make you run faster and longer. If you shorten your stride when you race, you can increase your sub-maximal speed and maintain it for a longer period of time- which means that you can run longer and farther.
- Practice Correct Breathing: Most runners follow a 2-2 breathing pattern: two steps while breathing in, then 2 steps while breathing out. You can also try 3-2 breathing. 3 steps while breathing in, then out for 2 steps. Trail and error is best in figuring out which works best for you.
- Follow the 10% rule: Only increase your distance by 10% each week. If you increase your speed quickly you are really prone to an injury. There have been multiple studies done proving that you are less prone to injury if you are only increasing your mileage by 10% each week.
- Get the right shoes: This is so important. Go to a running store for your shoes, where they can guide you to the best fit based on arch, and your individual stride. They’re professionals who can point you in the right direction, plus you can try on several brands to see how each feels.