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Running is widely regarded as one of the most effective training regimens for staying in shape. You will appreciate joining running groups and exceeding your prior distance if you become a trained runner. Here are some pointers to help you become a great runner.
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1. Set SMART goals
“Ask yourself what you want to get out of running,” Máire advises. “Do you want to go a specific distance, or do you want to set a specific time to cover that distance? Or do you wish to accomplish a personal goal, such as ‘me time' or relaxation?”
Setting goals will help you stay on track and motivated, but they must be well-defined. Máire suggests the SMART method for this: She advises that your objectives be “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed.” “For example, someone who wants to run 10 kilometers in under an hour should set a SMART goal like this: ‘I want to run a sub-60-minute 10 kilometers in the Standard Chartered event on December 3, 2017.' This is very clear and fits all of the SMART goals system's criteria. It's simple to construct a training regimen to meet this goal, and it keeps the runner motivated to stay to it.
2. Choose the Right Type of Shoe
Choosing the appropriate shoe is critical if you want to become a runner without injuring yourself. Depending on your running tastes, you can find a variety of running shoes on the market. You may have to try a few before you feel confident running one. Remember to replace your shoes before they become worn out.
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3. Join a Running Club
For many people, running alone might be a tedious activity. Joining a running club is a great way to stay motivated because they schedule multiple runs in groups. You'll make running pals who share your interest, and you'll discover new areas to run as a result.
4. Gradually increase your mileage
Another typical blunder is extending your distance too quickly. To minimize injury, Máire recommends gradually increasing your weekly exercise mileage by 10% at a time. “This is why, to allow for this gradual increase, you must schedule your training ahead of time for an event or race. Overload, which occurs when a runner increases his or her training by too many miles, too quickly, is the leading cause of injury in new and seasoned runners equally.
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“Running is an excellent type of exercise for our bodies for a variety of reasons,” Máire explains. “It's the most effective type of cardio for toning our bodies, improving our mood, and increasing bone density. However, it is a high-impact activity that can be difficult and taxing on our bodies.”
Running is also an extremely monotonous activity. “If you think about it, when we run, we turn our legs over 170 to 180 times every minute, which means we repeat the same movement 6,800 to 7,200 times in a 40-minute run. This repetition can lead to strain problems, and the easiest way to avoid them when you're just starting is to do some cross-training on a day when you're not running.”
Cross-training can refer to any other kind of exercise, particularly one with a lower impact that provides similar benefits as running, such as swimming or cycling. Low-impact core training exercises like Pilates and suspension cable training are also recommended by Máire. “The core is very involved in running and is the main system that keeps the torso upright and the pelvic and hips stable throughout the run; it's vital for proper load transfer from the lower body to the upper body, so a new runner who doesn't have a strong, stable core will most likely experience injuries as their training progresses,” she says.
6. Be Consistent
Consistency is required to improve as a runner. The more consistent you are, the faster you will progress. With practice, you'll be able to run at a more consistent speed and recover more quickly.
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7. Get Stronger in Your Core
Running is about your overall fitness, not just your legs. To be faster, you must have more muscular legs, but you must also develop your core. This is why runners should do more than simply run; they should also conduct strength training to strengthen their muscles and enhance their mobility and flexibility.
8. Tweak Your Technique
Running may appear to be a simple activity, but it is not. If you want to be the best, you must first learn the right procedures from professionals. Your jogging workouts will become even more effortless and fun if you refine your techniques.
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9. Know Your Limits
You do not need to complete every run. It feels great to crush every run session, but if your body isn't up to it, don't push yourself. As an athlete, you should pay attention to your body, which always sends signals and indicators of its limits. It's fantastic to push yourself harder, but going too far might lead to weariness and injury, which can disrupt your routine in the long run.
10. Refuel Without Delay
It's critical to refuel your body after a run, particularly after a long run. If you do not refuel after your run, you will become exhausted. To refuel after a run, eat a balanced meal with carbs and protein as soon as possible.
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11. Get More Sleep
For people who exert a lot of energy, such as runners, getting enough sleep is critical. Your body and mind both benefit from sleep. Sleep deprivation lowers performance and has a detrimental impact on your training. Your body repairs and rejuvenates itself as you sleep, which is why you should get at least 8 hours of sleep every night to feel rejuvenated the next morning.
12. Don’t run every day
Many new runners believe that they must run every day, but Máire claims that this is not the case. She suggests beginning by running three times a week on different days. “This training regimen gives tissues adequate time to recuperate and adapt to training loads while also preventing injuries. A beginner runner can progressively increase their mileage by adding a fourth training day every other week.”
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The Bottom Line
Though it may appear difficult at first, once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy your running sessions and no other workout will feel as thrilling.
Paraphrased by: Darren Koong
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