All of us instinctively know how to run, but most didn’t inherit an innate sense of the exact speed we can sustain.

How To Become A Better Runner…By Implementing These 3 Techniques

First off, running is almost 100 percent mental. So if you have any doubts about your abilities as a runner from the start, then you’ve already submitted to defeat. It’s important to understand that your attitude is everything; it’s your reason, your why and your how. As such, before your run, I urge you to set an intention or a focus. This will help you to have something to hold on to when your running–as it inevitably will– becomes more challenging.

Here are a few tips to help you step up your running game:

  1. Use Your Breath To Find Your Pace…

All of us instinctively know how to run, but most didn’t inherit an innate sense of the exact speed we can sustain. Proper pacing depends on factors like how far you’re going, your fitness level…and it’s a skill that takes time to hone. Even the best of  runners spend a lot of time trying to get it just right.

New runners almost always start off too fast (and then burn out).  Instead, stay at a speed at which you can easily chat with a partner. If you’re gasping for breath, slow down. If you can belt out the chorus to your favourite song, pick it up a bit, but err on the side of slowness to avoid running yourself into the ground. This will also help you mentally. The one BIG mistake new runners make is walking. When you feel tired, try to take your jog down to a trot which is one step above walking. It’s a mentally game. You want to be able to tell yourself that you can complete an entire run (whether it’s 20 minutes or two hours) without stopping. This will also help you to build stamina, which is necessary for runners.

As you become more comfortable with a standard pace that you set for yourself,  try taking it up a notch by pushing harder in order to up the calorie-burning and fitness-boosting benefits. Once you’ve consistently run for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week for at least a few weeks, add one of these elements near the end of one run per week…Four 20-second all-out bursts, three 30-second dashes up a hill, or six sprints from driveway to driveway in your neighbourhood. Alternate the high-intensity interval with at least two minutes of easy jogging. Every week or two, turn up the burn by adding 10 seconds to your fast intervals.

       2. Don’t Run Everyday…

It’s true that consistency is the key to success. But each run stresses your muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments; as you do it more often, they’ll adapt by growing stronger and more efficient. But you can do too much of a good thing. Pounding the pavement is high-impact and repetitive, so doing it too often or too fast can increase your injury risk. The trick is to find the sweet spot in which you run enough to spark changes but also give your body enough time in between to recover. For new runners, a goal of three runs a week is ideal. Any less than that and it will be hard to see progress and any more and your body may not have enough time to recover. The key to improving as a runner long term is to be consistent and stay injury-free.

       3. You Don’t Have To Run For Hours To Become Great…

Measuring your runs in minutes or miles involves a bit of personal preference. Some beginners may feel 5 km sounds much more daunting than a 30-minute run. Personally, I like to focus on the length of time that I run as opposed to the distance. It’s all about personal preference. Either way, picking the right distance or duration based on your goals and fitness level is a crucial step to getting the most from every workout without overdoing it.

Here’s another thing about mileage and minutes: To get better, you don’t have to continually increase them. It all depends on what your goals are. When training clients, I like to keep the duration the same but increase the intensity (and total calorie burn) by interjecting intervals—such as, say, one minute at an uncomfortably quick pace, followed by one to two minutes at a conversational speed.

Hope these techniques help! Here’s some motivation, to help get you started…