While running feels like the most hassle free and “easiest” method to keep yourself fit, it doesn’t exactly mean we’re all born natural sprinters. Shin splints tend to make sure of that for nearly all of us, for a start.
It’s not just as simple as walking out the door and suddenly becoming a spectacular athlete. Unless you’re already quite a fit person, you’ll have to work your way up. Having said that, it’s a bit more difficult to figure out how you want to work towards becoming a great runner than you’d expect.
Do not fear, as I’ve already done all the thinking for you. Based on personal experience, I’ve gathered a few points that came very useful in my younger years and got me to where I am today. Not to brag or anything, but I feel I do a decent job of my running!
Set Yourself a Goal
One of the first things to do, is set yourself some sort of goal or target. Over time, start to improve on this target when it becomes too easy for you to achieve and just keep going from there.
It sounds like common sense, but a lot of people I’ve known just go outside and hope for the best with no goal in mind. If you don’t evaluate your performance, you’re not going to identify any improvements you do or don’t make.
If you’re not sure how I mean by this, then maybe just set yourself a usual circuit. Once this usual circuit becomes too easy, extend it. Keep repeating this method (within reason, don’t ware yourself out) and you’ll see vast improvement.
Get somebody else Involved
Running alone isn’t always a great deal of fun. If you have headphones that will actually stay put, then that’s always a plus, but motivating yourself to do it on your own can be quite difficult in all honesty.
That’s why you should try get a buddy involved! Whether it’s your partner, brother, sister, mum, dad, friend, cousin, anybody! Having another person to go running with you is a lot more motivating, and also turns it into a social activity which is much more enjoyable.
I’ve tried to get the whole office involved in a lunch time run a few times a week, but my suggestion is always followed by a long silence. Their problem, I guess.
Remember to have Rest Days
This isn’t an excuse to slack, but it is fairly important in terms of progressing on the running expertise ladder. The whole point of running is to keep youfit and healthy, not to completely knacker yourself.
While the idea of running is to actually run, all the muscle fibres that you’ve broken down need some time to heal so they can rebuild themselves and become even stronger. So don’t ware yourself out.
You don’t have to go running literally every day of your life, especially if you’re still working on improving yourself! Start out small and only do a couple days, and build on it to whatever you feel is most comfortable with.
Check your Shoes
Just like I mentioned when highlighting how to tackle shin splints, it’s worth evaluating your running shoes and if they’re not that good, then definitely invest in a decent pair of running trainers.
Only average, a pair of decent running trainers will manage 300 to 500 miles before they need to be replaced. So first off, make sure you actually have a decent and cushioned pair of running shoes, and keep an eye on them when they start to disintegrate.
The problem with a lot of people trying to get out for a run, is they never end up doing it. If this is your problem, then you need to get your priorities sorted. Make time for running!
Rather than trying to see when you’ll get time to go on a run, make the time FOR running instead. Trying to find the spare time isn’t going to happen, let’s face it. Dedicate some time in the day so that it becomes part of your natural daily flow.
Get plenty of Sleep
We’re all guilty of late nights. How can you expect to get going with your running though, if you’re always tired? This is especially important with anybody that prefers to go for a morning run.
The best thing to do is plan your bedtimes so that you get 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night, instead of staying glued to your Tv and computer screen or phone. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll feel a lot more refreshed and ready to work on your running.
Drink plenty of Water
I’ve saved the most obvious until last, yet it’s one of the more frequently overlooked cases when it comes to running. If you’re out for a run, you should always make sure you’re properly hydrated.
Even the slightest shred of dehydration will make your body work harder than it needs to. So, whether it’s before you actually go for a run or carrying a bottle on the go, make sure you get some water down you!
Running may be quite simple, but to become proficient is another story. Hopefully with all these small tips, you’ll be well on your way to sprinting marathons before you know it!