By Coach Tony: Have you ever wondered how some people make running look easy? Do you wonder if these athletes were born with cheetah genes? Very few people run fast based on there DNA. Most have put in the hard work it takes to run fast and/or far. In addition to hard work, they usually have a plan. Here are a few running tips to help you become a stronger runner.
Limit junk miles! Run with an objective. Every run should have a purpose. Improving your run requires a mix of endurance, speed, strength, tempo and other type of runs. It’s like going to the gym for your legs. Exercising your legs in different ways builds run fitness in both your legs and cardiovascular system. Social running is great but has its place with respect to your overall training program. It’s great for recovery or when you need extra miles. If you are looking to improve, you must run with a purpose. At the end of the week when you tally up your run miles, junk miles should be 0- 5% of your total weekly mileage.
Good runners become good runners because they run often. Make running a life style. Sometimes people refer to running in the same way they do sushi; “it’s an acquired taste.” Try it you’ll like it. The bottom line is that you need to get out and put in the miles. Increase your mileage (but no more than 10% per week) for 3-5 weeks before backing down to recover. Repeat.
Have a Training Plan
Improving your run is progressive. Results will come through repetition of specific workouts. Have a plan that includes various types of runs with varying levels of difficulty and distances. Repeating prescribed workouts over time will develop run fitness, strength, and speed. Include measurement points like shorter races or timed workouts that allow you to compare from one week to the next. A plan is your path to success. It is a set of building blocks that allows you to measure performance over time so that you can see the results.
Setting goals adds commitment and makes you self accountable. You will be surprised how time flies when you need to get ready for an event. Each day becomes critical and you quickly begin to appreciate how each run workout contributes to your goal. Your runs become more important and therefore you are less likely to skip workouts.
Run with Others
Climbing a mountain by yourself is no fun. Add a few friends and it becomes much more enjoyable. By adding company, the journey becomes as rewarding as the accomplishment. Share your quest with others in pursuit of the same. Committing to others makes separating yourself from the sheets at the crack of dawn easier. Running with others also helps raise the bar. Running with a group that is faster helps you get faster. Keeping up with other runners helps you adapt to quicker tempos. Joining a running group or club are great ways to meet others runners.
We’re all build differently. Get into the most appropriate shoe that fits your running gait. The running gait is a unique set of actions and reactions that your foot performs while in motion to support, cushion, and balance your body. Vis it a respectable running shoe store to have your running gait assessed and appropriate shoes recommended.
Eat to Run
Running is, arguably, one of the most effective and quickest methods to get in shape. The effort it takes to run burns more calories per hour than most other sports. Your choice of foods (notice I did not use the word “diet”) can further improve or compliment your running. Diets are temporary and results are short-lived. Your nutrition should support your running needs. Food should be looked up as fuel.
Tony Troccoli has been a certified USA Triathlon and USA cycling since 2001. Tony has competed in nearly 20 Ironman events including Kona and coaches locally in the Southern California area and on-line nationwide. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Tony’s pre-built, easy-to-follow training programs. Tony is also a F.I.S.T certified bike fitter and soon to be Certified Total Immersion instructor. Contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org.