As a long time runner, running since the young age of seven, I have some trusted rules for runners to enhance performance. By integrating a variety of runs and cross training, you can shed seconds, minutes and up to an hour off your 5k, 10k, half or full marathon times. Also proper nutrition weighs heavily on becoming a more efficient and effective runner. Make sure you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables to optimize your performance. Here are the golden rules for runners to run stronger.
1. Do Not Run Hard Every Day
In order to have great results in your running performance, it is important to not run hard every day. Some days you should focus on speed, while on other days your focus should be just logging in distance with slow miles. In order to achieve results, variety in running speed is essential. This is one of the most important rules for runners.
2. Vary Your Training Runs
In order to run strong and improve your times, it is important to vary your runs. One day you should focus on long slow distance, another day speed should be the focus, another day should be focused on running race pace, and a good workout with hill repeats can do wonders for your running time. If you vary your runs you will see great improvement.
3. Add in Some Cross Training
There is a large group of runners that focus their training efforts solely on running and fail to cross train. Most of these pure runners sit on the sidelines, often injured and unaware of how important cross training is. Cross training focuses on different muscle groups and helps diminish over-training in your runs, and fatigue.
4. Make Sure to Eat Plenty of Vegetables and Fruits
To boost your immune system from all your running training, make sure you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. These fruits and veggies will provide plenty of nutrients to combat disease and better your health!
5. Eat Plenty of Lean Protein
By lean protein I do not mean eat chicken and meat all day. I get my protein largely from beans and eggs. I rarely eat meat. It is important to get enough protein to rebuild and replenish muscle fiber that is broken down from your runs.
6. Make Sure You Get New Running Sneakers when Needed
If you have been running in the same sneakers for 6 months and the rubber bottom is worn out, it is time for new kicks. Most runners get new sneakers every 3-4 months depending on how many miles they log. I usually need new sneakers every 2-3 months because of my heavy training schedule as a boot camp instructor and runner. Wearing worn down sneakers can cause injury, back and joint pain, so when in doubt, throw them out.
7. Do Not Forget to Stretch
Numerous runners run daily and neglect to stretch prior to their runs, and this increases the risk of an injury. Focus on a 3-4 minute dynamic stretch prior to your run with dynamic stretches such as jumping jacks, high knee marches and side to side runners stretches. You will warm up your body by doing so and be less likely to become sidelined due to an injury. So do not neglect to stretch!
Hope these golden rules will help you in your runs to optimize your performance. How will you integrate these golden rules into your current running schedule?