As a runner one is always looking to improve. This can be achieved by either running farther or running faster or both. So, as a runner your goals, speed and endurance change with time. While you can always run just for fitness or fun but that is a completely different scenario. It is time to put on your tracksuits and have a look at these tips and to improve yourself as a runner.
Looking to improve your speed and endurance? First, you would have to prepare yourself. This one is for the very beginners. Mix speed work and endurance training workouts into your routine. They will help build your aerobic and anaerobic system. within the first few weeks of this training, you will see the improvements. Remain consistent with your training and remember not to rush things.
Increase the mileage
Increasing your running mileage each week is a good way to improve yourself. You can have a few short runs over the week with one or two long runs. Every week add more distance to your long run and increase progressively without overdoing it.
Improving your weekly long runs are great but they do not prepare you for the fatigue you will be experiencing in the actual race. Thus, I would recommend you put some speed into the runs. Keep a steady pace the one you currently run at, throughout. But, run as fast as you can for the last minute. This will push your limits to run through fatigue.
Running a few miles followed by 2 minutes of jogging in between is a good and easy to remember workout. Start with a distance you think you can cover easily. For instance, run half a mile followed by 2 minutes of light jogging and repeat it. See how many miles you can cover in the beginning. Increase the distance every week.
If running half a mile seems like too hectic you can either reduce the distance for each run or just work on your endurance for now. Have a look here for key techniques for effective running, this might be able to help you out with a few problems.
Running on the straight ground is much easier than running uphill. Every surface has its own challenges and your body should be able to adapt to those changes. Thus, running on trails will improve your endurance and you will be unconsciously changing the stride, frequency and foot strike.
Accelerate and decelerate
Breaking up the constant and consistent paced routine will help the body adapt to a static speed. Keeping your run dynamic i.e. accelerating and decelerating will make you fast. Taking advantage of the things around you is a good way to do this. Accelerate by gradually increasing your speed going from one place to another. And then sprint with that pace for about 100 meters. Then start decreasing the speed transforming running into jogging.
Listen to your body
Beginners should start where they feel comfortable gradually increasing every second week. But running two to four miles a week would be a good place to start. A general rule is increasing only 10% of your run. This helps keep your body healthy and prevent any risk of injuries. When you are running, it is tempting to add more miles to your run but that could actually take you back.
Running more can cause an injury that can prevent you from running. It will ruin the work and time you’ve been putting in to improve yourself as a runner. Look out for the signs your body is showing and telling you. Feeling achy legs or aren’t recovered completely for the next run? See how you can adjust your mileage and speed to keep yourself healthy but still improve over time. improvement does not mean double the mileage in a week.
Pushing the limits gradually will help the body adapt to the change. Keep things steady and don’t rush it. If any pain persists or something out of the ordinary happens see a doctor.