If you just went on your first run you might be feeling out-of-breath, exhausted, and overwhelmed about the road ahead. Don’t worry. While getting better at running takes work, the truth is, anyone can be a runner! And, it’s easier than you might think to improve your running endurance when you use these tips.
Use Proper Running Form and Breathing Techniques
Proper running form means you’re running in a way that will allow you to go faster, run longer, and reduce your risk of injury. So, even if it doesn’t seem like proper form matters now, it definitely will down the line.
Proper running form starts with your posture. Keep your back straight, core engaged, head up, and shoulders relaxed. You want to maintain this posture because it helps you to keep your body aligned and stable as you run. Move your arms forward at a 90 degree angle. Your arms should be propelling you forward, not just dangling as you run. Typically, you shouldn’t be contacting the pavement with your heel first. Try to land on the balls or mid-area of your feet. Here’s a great video that can show you what we just described.
Proper breathing technique involves breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in, be sure to fill up your lungs fully so that you’re getting enough oxygen. And as you breathe out, exhale slowly—you want to avoid huffing and puffing like a steam engine! An easy tip for beginners is to breathe in for 2-3 steps, and then out for 2-3 steps. Play around with this number to find what works best for you.
Get Shoes Made for RUNNING
There are a lot of elements to consider when you’re running and the right shoes can make all the difference. Running is hard on your body—you have to be prepared for the impact of your feet pounding against the ground, or you’ll hurt yourself.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the proper support in your shoes. Good shoes will help you achieve faster times, improve your form, and reduce injuries as you run.
Investing in a good pair of running shoes will help you enjoy your runs more and keep them from taking a toll on your body.
Finding the right pair of running shoes will be a process. There are so many things to consider when choosing a pair of running shoes such as your current running form, pronation, how deep your arch is and more. If that all sounds foreign to you you’re not alone. The easiest way to find the right running shoes for you is to go to a running store and have your running studied. A store associate will be able to know the perfect shoe for you based on how you run and the shape of your feet (or how you want to run).
Vary How You Train
Whether you’re running for cardio, to train for a marathon, or just to get some fresh air and clear your head, it’s important to vary your training.
Without variety, you can get bored easily, which can lead to a decrease in your motivation. Also, if you always run at the same time of day on the same route, your body will become used to that routine and the workout will be less challenging.
Plus, changing up your routine means you’ll work different muscle groups, which will help improve your overall results. Here are some ways you can vary your training:
- Incorporate Tempo Runs: Instead of running for distance, run at a consistent pace for a set amount of time. For example, run for 30 minutes at about 60% of your max speed capacity. This way, you can get used to pacing yourself.
- Interval Training: This is the opposite of a tempo run. Interval training includes running at different speeds for different intervals of time. A common interval training plan for beginners is jogging at a challenging pace for 60 seconds, then walking for 90 seconds. Over time, increase the amount of time you jog, and decrease the amount of time you walk.
- Lift Weights: Lifting weights is actually one of the best ways to improve your speed and endurance. Your core is key to becoming a stronger runner. All weight lifting exercises activate your core and builds these core muscles. Training legs once or twice a week wouldn’t hurt either.
Incorporate Active Rest Days
A lot of people are under the impression that in order to improve your running you have to run, run, and then run some more. However, the truth is that in order to become a better runner, you need to rest.
The way your body works is that when it is stressed, it breaks down. When you give your body a break and let it recover from physical strain, it rebuilds itself.
Your muscles actually grow stronger during recovery periods, not in the moment you’re working out. If you continually push too hard without allowing your body to rest and recover, you won’t improve as much as you could with proper rest days—and you can even run the risk of injury or burnout. If you’re a beginner, have 2-3 active rest days a week.
Run Somewhere Beautiful
We know this may seem like a silly tip, but we promise, it’s legit! If you dread running on a treadmill or around a track, that’s just one thing to add to a list of things that could cause you to lose motivation. Running somewhere beautiful allows you to stay excited about your runs. We know the Winter months may require running indoors, but when you can, find a nice park or trail nearby and enjoy nature’s beauty.
Use a Tracking App
You won’t have any way of knowing you’re becoming a better runner unless you’re tracking your runs! Using a tracking app like Cadence for your runs allows you to store data from your past runs. By using this data, you will be able to see what goals you should set for yourself that are realistic, but still stretch yourself.
Tracking apps can also help you pace yourself on runs, or push through that last mile or 10 minutes of your run. Knowing where you stand will help you make real-time adjustments to your running pace.