10 Tips to Run Faster from the Mile to the Marathon

1. Set Goals

Whether it is to make it one block further on your run next time or to take 10 minutes off your marathon time, goals are a necessary part of running. They keep you focused and devoted to your training. You should make the goal somewhat difficult to achieve, but setting impossible goals will just make you feel bad about your running.

2. Listen to Your Body

Injuries can creep up at any time. Being in tune with your body will allow you to sense the injury before it stops you from running. Icing a sore spot after running might be enough to make it go away, otherwise a day or two off along with icing should take care of most aches and pains.

3. Run With Others

Training with other runners of similar caliber is great for anyone from beginners to elites. It is much easier to get out the door for your morning run if someone else is waiting to run with you. The support gained from fellow runners can help anyone get through the intense training necessary for a race.

4. Run Your Own Race

While this step may seem to disagree with the one before it, there is a difference. It is important not to train or race at a pace which you are not comfortable at. In this case, running at your own pace is more important than sticking with your buddy. In races, especially marathons, running too hard in the beginning will make the second half of the race seem like a nightmare that will never end.

See also  Spin Fishing for Trout – 3 Fly Fishing Tips for Spin Fishermen

5. Get the Right Shoes

There are many types of running shoes out there, but you should not just pick a pair based on how they look. If you do not know what type of shoe you need, talk to someone working at the shoe store, and they can observe your gait and let you know what shoes will work for you. Running in the wrong type of shoe is just asking for injury.

6. Recover

Just as important as the hard training is the recovery. Many studies have shown that eating something with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 45 minutes of finishing your workout will aid recovery by replenishing your carbohydrate stores and rebuilding damaged muscle tissue. A great item to use for this purpose is chocolate milk.

7. Cross-train

For beginning runners, it may not be feasible to run everyday of the week. Soreness may necessitate a day off. However, if you want to continue to improve your aerobic system on your day off, cross-training activities can be substituted for running. Biking, swimming, and aqua-running are all low-impact activities that will get the blood flowing to stimulate recovery.

8. Speedwork

Some faster running should be incorporated into every runner’s training program. This can be accomplished by doing 6-8 100 meter strides on the track at roughly mile pace. Hills can also be used to obtain both speed and strength in the same session. You can also incorporate “pick-ups” into your normal runs. This just means you pick up the pace for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes at certain parts of the run.

See also  The 2011 Cleveland Indians: July Recap

9. Take to the Trails

If possible, try to leave the concrete at least once a week to go running on either dirt or grass. This helps to reduce the risk of injury, especially stress fractures, which are caused by the repeated pounding of the weight of the body on your bones. Running on softer surfaces cushions this blow and can help you stay healthy. If dirt or grass is not available to you, running on asphalt is about 10 times softer than concrete, so this can help reduce injury too.

10. Have a Plan If you have a coach, this step will most likely be taken care of for you already. If you do not, there are many places to find training plans for any distance and for all experience levels. Running sites such as RunnersWorld.com offer many training plans, as well as advice from experienced veterans of the sport. A training plan ensures that you are training the right way for the race that you will be running.