How To Become A Better Runner

How To Become A Bette Runner

Once you start to catch the running fever, it’s pretty natural to start looking for ways to improve. That’s why here at Treadmill Reviews, we try to be as in-depth and specific as possible when it comes to recommending equipment to our readers. Because, while a budget treadmill may be perfect for someone who is just looking for a walking treadmill, it isn’t what will help your push your running to the next level.

What you should do to become a better runner will depend on what level of runner you already are at this time. While the advice we would give an advance runner can be helpful to beginners, we do strongly recommend that you honestly assess where you are at before following our tips on how to become a better runner. That way, you can use the most applicable advice at your current running level and protect yourself from common running injuries.

Things A Beginner Runner Can Do To Improve

When you first start running, you often feel an exhilarating mix of runner’s high and excitement in finding the right type of exercise for you. But as most beginner runners know, there is a pretty high burnout rate if they aren’t careful. So, if you are looking to make running a lifelong addiction, here are some things you can do to improve as a beginner runner.

Set Manageable Goals

It is perfectly fine to daydream about running one of the famous ultramarathon courses, but that shouldn’t be your main goal as a beginner runner. Nor is it advisable to commit to running 5-7 days a week when you are just starting out as a runner.

Consistency is the biggest factor in improving as a beginner runner. So, if you can commit to running for 3-4 days a week for 20-30 minutes per workout, you will be far better off than trying to shoot for more complex goals.

Alternate Between Running And Walking

Sometimes, both new runners and veterans can feel like they can’t be called a runner if they walk during their runs. But plenty of world-class athletes like Olympic champion Jeff Galloway espouse a run/walk method, even as elite runners.

To help keep you on track when it comes to utilizing the run/walk method, try to control when you walk and when you run. You can try running for 2 minutes and walk for 1 minute, though you can feel free to play with the timing to suit your workouts.

Keep Your Pace Slow

While it can feel incredibly freeing to put on your shoes and just go run, pushing yourself too fast can lead you to crash and burn within minutes of starting your run.

So, even though holding your pace back can feel very slow at the start of the run, you will reap the benefits as the run progresses. If you aren’t sure how to gauge the right pace, stick to a jog that is barely faster than your speed walking pace for five minutes, then evaluate how you feel.

Ensure You Have Good Shoes

Speaking of shoes, you will want to make sure you have running shoes that fit you well. Random cross-trainers aren’t going to cut it if you are planning on making running a big part of your exercise routine. We recommend that you get fitted at your local running store to help ensure you find good shoes to use on your runs.

Focus On Proper Running Form

If you start out your running with the right form, you won’t have to try doubly-hard to correct your form later on. Some key areas to focus on are:

  • Keep your arms loose and don’t allow them to cross your body.
  • Work on striking with your midfoot, rather than with your heel.
  • Drop your shoulders and keep your back straight.
  • Open up your hands and avoid closing them into fists.

How Intermediate Runners Can Enhance Their Running

There is no mark that says, “Intermediate running starts here.” But, often you can tell from the progress that you have made, whether you are crushing new PRs (personal records) or conquering new ground, like looking to train for a marathon or a shorter ultramarathon. To help you keep improving, here are some tips for our intermediate runners looking to advance.

Build In Solid Cross-Training

In some cases, there are some beginners who work in cross-training like yoga or pilates. But often, cross-training is put off in favor of resting and recovery.

While recovery time is critical, cross-training is important to help build up the areas of your body that running doesn’t address. Adding in strength training and flexibility workouts can help keep your body in balance and improve your movement while you run.

Address Your Diet For Proper Nutrition

Contrary to popular belief, being a runner doesn’t require you to eat carbs by the bucketful. Though that’s a tasty plan, the simple carbohydrates that people tend to favor—pasta, white bread, sugary treats, crackers, etc.—provide only a quick flash of energy.

Refining your diet to meet your nutritional needs as you improve your running takes more thought and care than just eating a bowl of spaghetti—even if it’s mom’s spaghetti. Instead, investigate the right ratios of protein, carbs, and fat for your height, gender, and age and tailor your diet accordingly. This aspect is especially essential if you are looking to lose weight, as your dietary consumption plays a large part in shedding the pounds.

Continue To Build Up Your Weekly Mileage

Some running plans you may be following keep the overall weekly mileage fairly low while shooting for goals like half marathons and marathons. In reality, the more you run overall, the easier shorter races will become.

But you don’t want to increase your weekly mileage too fast, or you can become injured. Instead, it is best if you build up your mileage by about 10% every week. So, say you run 25 miles over the course of a week. The next week, increase the overall count to 27 miles, then the following week should be about 30 miles overall.

Add Interval Workouts To Your Routine

Okay, most runners aren’t big fans of interval training. Likely, the main reason is due to the fact that interval training pushes you close to your limits, then after a little rest, you push to your limits again. While that can be uncomfortable, interval training, whether you are doing repeat interval sprints or hill training, can push your fitness to the next level.

For hill intervals, you may want to check out the NordicTrack Incline Trainer treadmill series. These treadmills can decline to 6% and incline all the way up to 40%, which is far more than any other treadmill currently available. With an incline trainer treadmill, you can do hill repeat workouts, incline sprints, and other excellent interval training workouts.

Run On Various Surfaces

To help keep you from suffering from overuse injuries, you will want to change up what kinds of surfaces you are running on. That can mean you take a day once a week to go trail running, swap between running on asphalt, concrete, springy bike paths, and using a treadmill to help reduce the effect of high-impact exercise on your body.

The NordicTrack incline trainer treadmills are excellently cushioned and can be comfortably used by even those who have previously had injuries.

When you work on improving your running as an advanced runner, it is more difficult to give generalized advice because, at this point, you have surpassed what most casual runners will ever reach. But, there are some things you can check out as you continue to develop as a runner.

  • Have your gait professionally analyzed and see where improvements can be made.
  • Determine what your ideal racing weight is and work with a sports nutritionist to craft an appropriate diet.
  • Hire a professional running coach to help push your fitness to the next level.

Whether you are new to running or a veteran, there are always ways you can improve your running. We hope that our tips help you become a better runner and allow you to blow your running goals out of the water!