I know what you are thinking: Tips on how to get a better run? How about being happy that you run at all, right?
We hear you. Running can be hard, especially if it’s new to you. You can barely run a mile one week and the next, it seems like you can run for miles and miles. It can take some time and practice to get in that kind of running groove, but you could be making your runs harder if you aren't following these tips.
Fine tune your form. Running form is something you can practice and master a little bit more every time you lace up and get going. One key to improving your running form is to keep your body relaxed. Maintain a natural alignment and keep your eyes forward, hips under shoulders and neck and shoulders relaxed. Swing your arms by your sides and cup your hands in a relaxed way (don’t make tight fists) for better efficiency. To maintain a proper cadence, take shorter, quicker steps under your hips. Taking too long of a stride is a common running mistake.
Don’t go it alone. If you love your solo run, dial it up a notch by listening to some great tunes. Music motivates! Fast beats can up your pace or help you go a longer distance. Plug in to a fitness app on your mobile device and track your route, distance or running pace. Or try a running partner. Running in sync with someone can keep you going longer and push you when you have a hard running day. Plus, the social time can take your focus away from a challenging run.
Sign up. Fall is a great time for 5ks and 10ks. The weather is cooler and outdoor runs are available everywhere you look. Train and compete with yourself for your best time. Get motivated by joining other runners and people cheering on the sidelines. Mix it up by trying a mud run or a color run. A race can be just what you need to challenge yourself to get a better run!
Running is a form of exercise you may love or love to hate, but with a little time, patience and these tips, you can soon be on your way to a better run!