Whether a beginner or a seasoned athlete, we can all stand to improve our fitness or running techniques. Here are some simple but effective ways to focus your training for real results.

1. Set that goal 

Having a race to focus on is great for concentrating your training and giving you the motivation to get out there and run. The most popular distance in the UK is the 10k. Combining both speed and endurance, for the beginner the 10k is not too long a distance, but also fast enough to be exhilarating and fun.

 

2. The right training schedule

To build or maintain running fitness, three runs a week will do it, but keep these training sessions slightly varied. If you run the same distance, the same route, every time you train, chances are you will get bored and grind to a halt. Do one of your runs at a steady, conversational pace, do another low, long and slow, and have one as a speed session. This way you will not only work all your muscle groups, but also keep the training fresh.
 

 

3. Improve your posture

Keeping good form when running works wonders. Hold your head high, focusing your gaze ahead of you, not straight down. Relax your shoulders and try not to let your arms cross in front of your body. 

 

4. Recover well

Make sure that you have good recovery between sessions, taking walks and even including some Pilates or yoga, to stretch and maintain your hard working muscles. 

 

5. Get the right kit 

You don't have to spend hundreds of pounds, but the right running shoe for you and your chosen terrain is essential. Get trainers that fit you well and match your natural gait. Good running shops will be able to fit your shoes correctly. It seems a small thing, but good running socks can make all the difference between comfortable feet and nasty blisters. Ladies - make sure you have a quality, high impact sports bra. Again, comfort is your priority.

 

6. Find a partner or club

When we are out running alone it can be great for solitude and focus. But it can also be tempting to just go home and shower as soon as you get tired. Running with a partner or joining a club for some of your runs can really improve your motivation and confidence. Sharing running tips and experiences can do wonders for your own training and results.

 

7. Eat well to run well

An athlete can learn to use nutrition to their advantage. Eating well and training well will see fantastic improvements in your running, as well as your general health. Before a training session or a race, eat high energy, high calorie foods that don't weigh you down. Try a banana, or natural nut butters. Eggs are also a powerhouse of nutrition and energy. Stay well hydrated before a race or training session, as well as during it. Run for health, run for fun and run for life.

 

Why run alone? Find a companion with Reader's Digest Dating today.

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