There are many things a person can do to improve their running. This post will be relevant for beginning runners, intermediate runners, and expert runners who are training for their 20th marathon. No matter what type of running you are doing, it is important to use these tips below to improve your running knowledge or skills. These five tips will be part of the many building blocks you will find along the way of your running journey. Use these tips to your advantage, and remember to never stop searching for advice and motivation. Running is not an easy sport and those who run can do just about anything.

1. Cross-Training is Important

You cannot believe the amazing benefits that cross-training has on your running. There are so many things that cross-training can do for your running and your body. Cross-training can be considered any sport or exercise that will improve your main sport performance. In this case, cross-training can be used to improve your running. It can help by balancing your muscle groups, maintaining or improving your cardiovascular fitness, and reducing your chance of injury.

2. Stick to a Routine

This one may seem quite obvious, but I cannot stress the importance of this single step. When you are trying to mold your body into a runner, it is so crucial to stick to a schedule and get your body used to it. It is even more important for those training for marathons and other big running events, because when you skip a day, even one day, your body will feel it and it will fall behind on the next run you do. One of the best ways to be a better runner is by sticking to your routine.

3. Rest Your Body. It’s Important!

Some people may think that there is no time for rest. This needs to get out of every runner’s head. It is okay to take a day off, even two. You will not lose any of your strength or performance. In fact, according to Runner’sWorld.com, “A day off every seven to 14 days restocks glycogen stores, builds strength, and reduces fatigue.” Your body needs recovery time to fully progress. I know it seems hard to surrender your body to rest one day, but in the end it will be the best for your training.

4. Push Through the Uphills

This small tip alone can make all the difference in your running. Have you ever noticed the uphills are the most difficult part of your run? I’m sure everyone has. It is no surprise. So, this tip should make sense that if you push through those uphills, you can do anything. When you conquer the most difficult obstacle, every other obstacle seems minuscule. The best way to improve your running is by pushing through the most difficult obstacle. A marathon runner named Donna Choate says, “I was never able to completely run up a hill without having to walk.” She solved this problem by increasing the incline on her treadmill and finding a hilly route outdoors. She went from running a 10-minute mile to an 8-minute mile, just by pushing through the hill.

5. Change Up Your Run

Sometimes, the littlest things can be the best solution. Many runners have complained that they reach a plateau in their running. Well, there is a solution to this. All you need to do is change up how you run. This can be as simple as changing your incline on your treadmill, or changing to an uphill route outdoors. It can also be a change in speed and endurance. If you are running 5-10 miles weekly, try running sprints for 1 or 2 of those days, just to challenge your body a little more. The 5-10 miles will become easier and your body will not plateau. Keep your routine diverse and always changing and running will never become boring.