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Running has long been a favorite choice for exercise – it’s inexpensive and doesn’t require a lot of specialized equipment.
That said, however, it can be disheartening to feel slow or to have trouble running for long distances. Never fear! We have 7 tips that will help you increase your speed and endurance:
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1. Stay Well Rested
We shouldn’t need to tell you how important sleep is. But in case you’re still fighting it, know that studies have shown that athletes who get a good night’s sleep finish runs faster.
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2. Run At The Right Time Of The Day
We aren’t going to tell you what time of day you should run – everyone’s body has it’s own rhythm and the early morning runs your neighbor loves may not work for you.
Experiment with running at different times of day, and see what feels best; you’ll soon see your speed and endurance increasing when you find the zone.
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3. Find A Running Partner
Having a partner helps keep you motivated – it’s hard to skip a day when you know someone else is waiting for you. You will also push each other to go farther and faster.
4. Set Yourself A Goal
Trying to train without a goal is like shooting an arrow without a target – you’ve got no way to know if you’re improving your aim or not.
Your goal should challenge you to really stretch your limits, but it must be realistic – if you’ve never run before, it’s not really realistic to say that you’ll run a half marathon at the end of the month.
5. Don’t Overdo It
When you’re working on your endurance, you may set a goal of a certain number of miles in a week. If you’re forced to miss a day or two of running, it can be tempting to try to make those missed days up by running even more then next day.
This is a sure-fire recipe for injury. Going from no exercise to too much exercise in such a short period puts unnecessary strain on muscles and tendons. Missing out on a weekly goal can be disappointing, but not nearly as bad as being sidelined for weeks due to a pulled muscle or worse.
Remember that the real key to building speed and endurance is consistency – putting in effort of weeks and months. Missing one or two runs doesn’t negate all the rest of the work you’ve been putting in.
6. Proper Breathing Technique
Training your breathing patterns is just as important as training your muscles. The proper breathing technique while you run is to inhale through the nose, and then exhale through the mouth.
Most runners start with a 3:2 breathing ration: breathe in for three steps, and then exhale for two steps. As your speed and distance increase, you will likely fall into a natural pattern of 2:1, that is, two steps during inhalation, then 1 step for exhalation.
7. Proper Running Technique
Body posture and running technique also play a large roll in your training. Using the proper technique helps you conserve energy, helping you to run at higher speeds over a longer distance.
Keep your shoulders and arms loose and relaxed, while keeping the body and head straight while running. Lift your knees high; this will help you with taking a longer stride – crucial to running longer and faster.
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