Running Tips

Read these 15 Running Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Track And Field tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I run faster without running out of breath so quickly?

Increase Your Speed, but Not Fatigue

The short answer to increasing speed while holding off fatigue is: conditioning. In other words, if you want to be able to run faster, practice running faster.

The long answer is a bit more complex, but it amounts to the same thing. A weight lifter trains his or her body to lift greater and greater amounts of weight in competition by increasing the weight they lift in practice. In a similar manner, the runner trains his or her body to run faster in races by running faster during training.

The classic speed training is an interval workout. During interval training, a runner repeatedly covers distances shorter than their planned race distance, but at a faster pace then their normal race pace. Done consistently – with adequate recovery periods between interval workouts – this conditions their body to run faster while minimizing fatigue.

A typical interval workout for a miler or 1500-meter runner might include repetitions at 400 meters and 800 meters run at faster than race pace. Recovery times could vary based on intensity.

Interval training is serious work and increases the risk of injury. For this reason, you should consult with your coach before adding interval training to your workout schedule.

Some runners add conditioning to their training by using “fartlek” – roughly translated from the Swedish as “speed play.”

Fartlek is less structured than interval training – and generally less intense in practice. But the goal is the same: to increase overall speed by adding periods of training that are faster than race pace.

A fartlek workout could be as simple as increasing your training pace between every third and fourth telephone pole.

   
Is stretching important?

Never Enough of a Good Thing

Stretching. It's something that every runner must do. One of the many running tips that runners ignore is stretching after warming up. Most runners choose to stretch before they go out for a run, which is incorrect.

Stretching before warming up your muscles causes them to strain and tear, which does the opposite of what stretching intends, and can lead to injury. Runners should warm up their muscles by running for 10 to 15 minutes before stretching there muscles prior to a run.

   
Why should I train to be a runner?

Build On It

Ever tried to go for a run, and after the first five minutes, you are too tired to go another step? That is because running is something that takes time for your body to accept and get used to. Running training is essential to developing your endurance and muscles, allowing your body to go that extra step and many more after. Most running training involves gradually increasing your work load on a weekly basis, until you reach a point where you feel you can accomplish your goals.

   
Is barefoot running a good idea?

Take Off Your Shoes

Barefoot running - worth it, or a waste of time? Definitely worth it! Incorporate barefoot running or strides into your track and field workout plan once a week and you'll spend years with fewer injuries. Track shoes today are very structured to support your feet, which is great. They also take away the need for all of the small muscles in your feet and ankles that ensure stability and pliability to develop.

Barefoot running exercises these small muscles by requiring them to move and adjust while a runners barefoot impacts the ground in a different, yet very natural way, than in shoes. Be careful not to over do barefoot running, you do need the cushion that track shoes afford.

   
What should I wear for outdoor runs during the winter?

Don't Overdress for Winter Running Success

Many distance runners train outdoors during the winter indoor track season. Layers and warmth are important, but remember that after about 1-2 miles, you will warm up significantly, and too many heavy layers will leave you hot and uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb is to think of the "running temperature" as about 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature. Of course there will be variables such as wind chill and humidity, but if you feel chilly during the first mile, you are probably dressed right.

   
Why do people pool run?

Get in the Pool

What's this business about pool running? I hear people say they are taking the day off or training in the pool instead of running. I'm not a swimmer, how can that help me?

Pool running simulates the running motion (without the full range of motion or impact) and will allow an athlete to stay in shape while rehabbing from an injury or if they need to take a day to allow their muscles less stress but do not want to lose fitness.

   
Why are there so many types of running shoes?

Feet Feel Fantastic?

One of the most important running tips that one can follow is regarding footwear. It is very important to get the correct shoes. Without wearing the right shoes, a runner may suffer from a variety of injuries.

Every runner is different, from their body type to the arches of their feet, to the type of training they are doing. These factors, and others, are important in choosing the correct running shoes. Ask someone at a running store, not a sporting goods store, to "fit your feet."

   
How is running a Marathon different from other types of running?

The Longest Race

Marathon running differs from cross country and track running, in that it deals with longer distances. Marathon races are 26.2 miles long, and take the average runner between three and four hours to complete.

Training for the Marathon requires logging higher weekly mile totals that that of a cross country or track runner, but also less interval and speed training. The marathon is a test of endurance and mental strength. Only those who are serious about training for and competing in a marathon, should undertake the task.

   
Is running a good sport to do in High School?

Join In

Cross country running is a sport for everyone. Don't like football or soccer? Then fill your fall afternoons getting in shape and having some fun. Running cross country in high school builds confidence and friendships, while getting your body healthy and capable of feats you never thought possible.

   
Do I need to compete to be a runner?

Compete or Not

Running is something everyone can do. A runner can chose to be competitive or not. When choosing to be a competitive runner, there are many levels one can compete. Whether it be by age group or ability, there are races around the country, every season of the year, for runners to compete in. So whether you have that competitive fire inside, or just that desire to be active, lace up your sneakers and hit the road.

   
What is cross country running?

Feel the Breeze

Swiftly moving down a wooded trail. Your senses attune to your surroundings. You can feel your heart beating and you can hear yourself breathing, both in a rhythmic pattern. Cross Country running is not about short distances, and never on a track.

It takes place on trails and roads, traversing hills and crossing fields. Its something that lets you know who you are, and how good you can be. It is both an individual and team sport that relies on your conditioning and mental strength.

   
What should I wear for outdoor runs during the winter?

Don't Overdress for Winter Running Success

Many distance runners train outdoors during the winter indoor track season. Layers and warmth are important, but remember that after about 1-2 miles, you will warm up significantly, and too many heavy layers will leave you hot and uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb is to think of the "running temperature" as about 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature. Of course there will be variables such as wind chill and humidity, but if you feel chilly during the first mile, you are probably dressed right.

   
Why would you want to run?

Run For Fun

Feel like you need to get in to better shape? Try running. Running is one of our most basic skills, and is not something that you have to learn how to do. It is also a very effective way to get into the shape you always wanted to be in. You can always go for a run. There is no fee to participate or specific time you need to do it. Simply putting on your shoes and hitting the road is very therapeutic, and will do wonders for your mind and your body.

   
How should I train for a Marathon?

Preperation Is Everything Here

Training for a Marathon is a serious undertaking. Since Marathon running deals with longer distances, so does the training. The training regimen generally follows a 16 week schedule, where the weekly mile totals gradually increase each week, peaking around week 13, before tapering off again in the weeks before the race. Along with the weekly mile total increase, the long run each week increases in distance.

The average marathon runner should complete one long run each week, with the longest run covering 20 miles. When this prescribed training is followed, the runner will be able to not only complete a marathon, but will decrease the chances of getting injured during the race.

   
What benefit does race walking provide?

Walk Fit

Race walking is not just walking really fast. Race walking gets a person's heart rate moving faster than walking normally, and thus provides a better workout.

Race walking is also less stressful on the legs than running. Running can place a lot of stress on the joints in the leg and on the feet. Race walking has much less impact on those areas and can cause fewer injuries as a result.

   
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