Ever feel you are in a slump as far as your running goes?
Do you have to force yourself out of the door to go for a run, or are your race times getting worse instead of better? The following tips will help you to get back on track and improve your running performance.
1. Take a break!
Yes – take a few days off and enjoy the ‘holiday’. Athletes in all sports can suffer from too much training and the solution is simply to rest up. This will give you both a physical and a psychological boost when you re-commence your regular running routine. See also the following tip.
2. Cross Train
Your running will definitely improve if you find the time to do another sport. Not only is this a change from running it can build up strength in muscles that do not get much of a workout normally. Good alternate training exercises for runners include cycling, swimming, strength training (upper and lower body).
3. Set Some Running Goals
Ask yourself what do you want to get from running. This could be one or more of several things such as regular exercise, to get in shape, lose weight, run a marathon etc. Then set yourself a specific goal like achieving a certain weight within three months, or running a certain distance in a given time. Then see how close you can come to achieving your goal.
4. Do Some Speed Workouts
In a speed workout routine you alternate running fast laps or distances with slower recovery ones. For example once a week do 10 sets of 400 meters at your fastest pace followed by 400 meters at a slow easy pace. The goal is to improve muscle strength and aerobic capacity.
The danger is the greatly increased risk of injury if you over-do it. You have to build up slowly – for example start with only 5 sets, and not at your fastest pace and then build up as the weeks go by.
5. Enter A Road Race
If you’re not keen on doing formal speed workouts do some road races. This is also beneficial for increasing strength and aerobic capacity. Like speed work though don’t overdo it!
6. Track Your Runs In A Log
As the old saying goes, if you don’t know where you are at, how will you know where you’re going?
The same applies to your running – if you record your runs and weekly mileage this gives you something to compare back to later on. You might be surprised at how much progress you’ve made! It’s also a great motivator.
7. Join A running Club
If you aren’t already a member of a club consider joining one. Running with others is a great way to keep you motivated. You can also learn a lot about running from some of the older veteran runners.