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Running Performance - 5 Quick Running Tips
Guaranteed to Improve Your Running
What do you
do when you want to improve running performance?
Follow a few of my running tips of course... :)
Well, seriously, quite often I get questions of runners trying to
improve their running performance.
And often I can help them out with
the same advice.
Look for example at a recent e-mail I received :
I run a mile three times a week.
In the beginning I ran it faster every time.
Lately I am stuck and can't seem to improve anymore.
What can I do to improve my running ?
Thanks in advance.
The runner in this e-mail makes a few mistakes. That's okay, he is
learning. And I was able to help him out by pointing out a few of my
Improve Running Tip #1 : Run Further to Run Faster
This runner runs a mile.
Leaving him completely out of breath.
Not being able to do more.
Imagine if he built up his mileage.
To three miles per workout. Five miles per workout. Add in an even
longer run getting to, say, ten miles.
A mile would suddenly not be that far anymore.
I bet he'd be doing that one little mile a lot faster.
That's one of the first keys when you want to improve your running: run further and
develop your base, your basic stamina/endurance.
Click these pics for some more ideas about base/easy running and
Improve Running Tip #2 : Vary Speed
This runner only knows one speed. Top
There are incredible benefits in running at different speeds.
Basic running training identifies a number of different speeds at which
to do your running training:
This is the most important running speed.
Many people don't like working out at this speed.
It's too slow. Too dull. Too boring.
But at this speed you train the heart to transport more blood and
with every heart beat. You train the running muscles to more
effectively use the oxygen in the blood they get from the heart.
should be the cornerstone of your running program.
Tempo running changes your lactic acid threshold, so that lactic acid
builds up less rapidly in your running muscles and gets transported out
I am not going to go into all the scientific detail, I'll try to keep
it high level. See lactic acid as the by-product of exercise. When your
body produces only a little lactic acid (at low speed), your body can
remove it from the muscles without a problem.
However, when you run faster and faster, more lactic acid gets
produced. At some point your body will not be able to remove it out of
the muscles quickly enough and the lactic acid starts building up.
When lactic acid builds up in your legs and you can't get rid of it in
time, your legs get really,
That's basically what happens when you run at a high speed for even
more than five minutes or so. At some point your legs will start to
drag. It's the lactic acid doing its work.
If base running is most important, tempo
running is a close second. Doing base running and tempo
running alone, many of us would be able to set personal records on all
distances of 1 mile and up.
At this speed you improve the amount
of oxygen your running muscles can
So, where base running makes your heart stronger, pumping more blood
(and oxygen) to your muscles with every heart beat, interval running makes your
running muscles work more efficiently.
Interval running is out of the three just discussed probably the
hardest one to do. I really dread doing intervals most of the time.
I know they help make me fast. And afterwards you have got a real sense
of accomplishment. But they do hurt a bit! That's why you should follow
the advice I provide in the above link. It makes interval running just
that little bit easier.
these different speeds in your training is necessary to
keep on improving your running.
Improve Running Tip #3 : Running Technique
In addition to doing the above running workouts, it pays off to focus
on your running technique. When you improve your running technique you
use less energy with every step you take.
Now, we take a lot of steps when running. A 1% improvement pays off
over the long haul. It can come down to fairly simple things, e.g. keep
your head straight, don't make your arms swing wildly from the left to
the right etc.
Some useful links to learn more about running technique:
Deals with the optimal number of strides per minute you take and
provides drills you can do to improve your stride rate. Frustrating at
first, but when you can improve the number of steps you take from, say,
165 to 180, it pays off dividends.
The running technique page gives you various ideas to work on your
Improve Running Tip #4 : Periodization
There is a time for each type of running training. When preparing for a
race, you need to know the concept of periodization.
This is cutting up your training in different building blocks. Starting
with base building you then progress to faster workouts closer to the
race. Finish with a good taper and you'll be optimally prepared for
Improve Running Tip #5 : Do More Than Running
More than running training alone improves performance.
is incredibly important to improve your running.
But it's not the only necessary component.
Now, back to the runner in the e-mail. He runs three times per week.
Does he do any cross-training?
Does he consider his diet
and stay away from junk food?
Just a few aspects which certainly do have their impact on how fast you
are and factors to look at when trying to improve running performance.
These five simple running tips combined give you a good basis to start
of from. So, keep in mind:
Build up your mileage
Vary your speed
Work on your running technique
Know when to do which workout (periodization)
Do not only focus on running training
I hope this
helps you in becoming a faster runner who can constantly
keep on improve running performance.
Some Other Pages You May Want to Have a Look at
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