The 17 Tips and Tricks You Have to Try On Your Next Run!
Running is a way of life for some people, while for others it’s hell on earth. There are many preconceptions about how to run but we’ve dug up great ways to make your next run more interesting, beneficial and fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re a more seasoned runner or an absolute beginner, someone who loves running already or someone who hates it, you have to try these 17 tips and tricks to try out the next time you pull on your trainers! Trust us when we say they’ll help you appreciate and enjoy your exercise much more and improve your health and fitness as well.
#1 Wear Good Running Shoes
Be prepared to splash out a bit on a decent pair of shoes to properly support and protect your feet, ankles and muscles. Aim to go for a size bigger too so that your feet have adequate room when you’re running, and make sure you only use them for running and not for going to the shops or whatever else!
#2 The Talk Test
The ‘talk test’ is a simple exercise that involves setting a running pace and checking to see if it’s within your limits by trying to hold a conversation with someone as you run. If you find that you can’t breathe properly while getting whole sentences out, take your speed down a notch.
#3 Relax Yourself
You shouldn’t be all tensed up when you’re running. It will waste valuable energy and poor posture will also slow you down. Let your jaw hang loose, drop your shoulders down, and occasionally shake out your hands and arms to stay relaxed.
#4 Layer Less
Test the temperature outside before you head out and dress as if it’s actually warmer than it is in reality. Not only is it much more comfortable to wear less layers but as soon as you get your heartrate up you’ll feel warm anyway, overheating and sweating profusely on your run will dehydrate you faster.
#5 No partying
Obviously, having drinks the night before you plan on getting a run in will negatively impact your mood, but more importantly your performance. Alcohol dehydrates the body, contributes to irregular sleeping patterns and decreases your energy levels. Not exactly the ideal conditions for exercise. If you’re going out, give that run a skip the next morning and rest up instead.
#6 Race Cars
So, this doesn’t mean you should actually play with the traffic, but this is a fun exercise game. Incorporate a section of road (with a footpath for your safety) into your running route. Every now and then pick up the pace and try to chase a car. It’s good for your body to be challenged by a burst of energy rather than just only go at one pace.
#7 Don’t Crush The Egg
Just as you should keep your shoulders and face relaxed, make sure you don’t run with fists as if you’re ready for a fight. Instead, run with a cupped hand, thumbs resting on the fingers, as if you were protecting an egg in each palm.
#8 Make Time For a Quickie
We all live busy lives and finding time for a long run is a real issue. Luckily, you have to remember that 15 minutes of running is better than not running at all, so even if it’s just a short one, make sure you get out all the same.
#9 Listen To Your Body!
Run through some tiredness, but not through pain. It’s not worth suffering an injury that might set you back days or weeks. Look after yourself.
#10 Train With Someone…Anyone
Running can be a very social activity so grab a mate for your next run. If you join a running club you’ll get to meet lots of new and like-minded people. Having running partners to chat with and spur you on gives you an extra incentive to go on a run in the first place.
#11 Change Up Your Running Surfaces
If you only run on smooth tarmac your body will just get used to this surface. Introducing more varied terrain to your routine will ensure you stretch and strengthen your muscles more evenly, which will help to avoid injury in the long run.
#12 Try Interval and Hill Training
Similar to #11, throwing in a few hills and interval sections into your run will seriously improve your overall fitness and durability. Your body gets used to regular runs quite easily so it’s good to shake things up to not only keep things interesting for yourself but also to toughen up your body.
Photo: Stoke FIT
#13 Run Naked
Don’t worry, this isn’t what you might think! These days we’re surrounded by tech stuff from our phones to fitness watches. On your next run, free your mind from the distractions and pressures of all those devices and set out without a watch, fitness band, or your phone strapped to your arm.
#14 Stretch Later
Did you know that it’s not necessary to stretch before you start your run? Just begin by walking to warm up a little, then jog for two minutes, and finally start running. Only at the end should you do all your stretches so you avoid injury.
#15 Treat Your Feet
We tend to neglect our poor feet. They’re crammed into shoes all day and they have to carry us every time we walk or run anywhere. Treat them to a massage before and after a run by taking a small ball (e.g. a golf ball) and gently rolling your foot over it from the heel to the ball of the foot.
#16 Compare Yourself With Yourself
You are your own person, so don’t waste time or get hung up comparing yourself with anyone else. Focus on your personal wellbeing and progress.
#17 Have Fun
Perhaps the most important thing you can do on your next run. Run a route that passes by some of your favourite places, take a new route every time, run with your friends, have some me time and run alone, or run to raise money for a cause you care about. Remember that every session you do doesn’t have to be better than the last one in terms of distance of time, just focus on your enjoyment and wellbeing.