Here’s what we’ve curated from around the Internet to help both competitive and leisure runners alike improve their running and have fun while they’re at it.
- Clear Your Mind
Too much brain activity makes you less efficient, which means your mind should be as clear as possible when you run. Studies have shown that constantly being consciously aware of how you run can make you less efficient. Also, the most skilled athletes across sports all have the least brain activity when performing sport-specific movements.
Train your mind and body when you run so that staying on form becomes autopilot. When you clear and relax your mind, running becomes much easier.
- Pump Up The Music
Researchers have proven that listening to music does help to motivate during exercise and reduces perceived exertion. It also distracts your mind so you’re not focused on running, which can slow you down and make you feel sluggish.
Listen to songs with high BPM (beats per minute) that matches your running pace so you can run in time to the music and keep the pace for longer.
- Take Deep Breaths
Breathing fast doesn’t take in more oxygen, it actually takes in less oxygen because you’re not expelling all the carbon dioxide in your lungs.
Force yourself to slow down your breathing and take deeper breaths, holding your breath as long as you can before exhaling. This will help your body relax and loosen your muscles, and will ensure your body is getting enough oxygen so running will feel a lot easier.
- Hold Tissue Paper
Holding tension in your upper body can make running feel a lot harder and can unconsciously slow you down.
Pretend you’re holding a sheet of tissue paper between your fingers and that you cannot let the tissue paper tear. This forces your hands to loosen up and reduces tension in your shoulders, ensuring you’re not wasting energy by tensing up your muscles.
- Swing Your Arms
What contributes to your stride is your upper body movement. When you swing your arms, your hips automatically turn as well, which then causes your legs to move in accordance. This means that swinging your arms can actually help move your legs.
So train your upper body for strength to build a faster running pace.
- Lean Forward
Leaning forward while you run will instantly propel you forward since you’re allowing gravity to pull you forwards. But make sure your posture is straight and don’t bend at the waist.
This is an easy trick to conserve energy and run faster, especially when you’re sprinting at the end of your run.
- Don’t Leave Out Strength-Training & Cross-Training
Just sticking to the same running routine over and over will cause your supporting muscles to weaken from non-use, thus increasing the risk of injury. Remember to include strength-training and cross-training sessions once or twice a week in your exercise routine to prevent injury.
Strength-training exercises can include weighted squats and lunges, while cross-training exercises can include biking, or even running backwards and sideways.
- Plyometric Workouts
To improve muscle elasticity, try doing plyometric workouts which involves fast, explosive exercises like jumping.
This will help your muscles contract faster which will enable you to run faster and your body to better cope with bigger workloads.
- HIIT It
Both competitive runners and runners who run to burn calories can benefit greatly from HIIT (high intensity interval training). Researchers have found that the low volume and high intensity training can boost your speed and fitness. It also helps you burn a ton of calories.
HIIT improves elasticity and coordination between your nervous system and muscles, helping you increase efficiency in your stride at all paces.
- Get Off Your Ass
Sitting too much may increase the risk of injury. When you sit, your hip flexors and hamstrings tighten, especially if your posture is slumped. Studies have shown that six to seven hours of sitting time daily is almost as bad for your fitness as an hour of running is good.
Walk around in the office as much as possible and make it a habit of not sitting down for too long.
Are you fast enough for QLIPP™? Find out more about QLIPP™, the ultimate tennis performance sensor here: https://www.qlipp.com/
Kuzma C. (2013) Run Faster with High Intensity Interval Training. Retrieved from http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/run-faster-with-high-intensity-interval-training
Smith J. (2013) The Best Running Tips of All Time. Retrieved from http://www.shape.com/fitness/training-plans/best-running-tips-all-time
Lobby M. (2011) Mental Energy. Retrieved from http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/mental-energy?page=single
Dewitt A. 11 Greatest Running Tips And Tricks. Retrieved from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-greatest-running-tips-and-tricks.html
N.D. 5 surprising tricks to help you run faster. Retrieved from http://www.realbuzz.com/articles/5-surprising-tricks-to-help-you-run-faster/
Kuzma C. (2014) 12 Habits of Highly Motivated Runners. Retrieved from http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/12-habits-of-highly-motivated-runners