5 Ways To Improve Your Run...

So you are in the right place if you are looking to improve on your running time and technique. This post isn't just for the advanced runner, it is also applicable to beginners and those that are new to running. Many people take up running because the beauty of it is the need for open space and a pair of trainers. You don't need a gym, you don't need to confine yourself to opening and closing times, you just need yourself and open space, the more the better. Take a look below at my 5 ways on how this can be done with just a little fine tuning and due care to your body...

Resistance Exercise

The biggest problem is that running isn't just all about the lower body and believe it or not, most runners neglect their upper bodies due to thinking so. It makes sense that 70% of exercise and resistance training should be based around your core and leg muscles since they are mostly active during running. However it is important not to forget your upper body plays a crucial part in running as it helps push you through each stride giving you a better technique. The key is not to be too bulky up top that it slows you down and makes you feel stiff. Working your chest, back and shoulder muscles are recommended just like it is to squat, lunge and work on lower body strength. As a side note when you perform resistance based exercises there is a tendency to tighten up and this brings me onto point number two...

Stretch

When muscles contract constantly through exercise over time they don't go back to their original lengthened state and therefore need some form of stretching aid. Stretching after a workout is highly recommended to reduce soreness and to relieve muscles of the stress you have just put them through. Taking part in yoga or pilates classes also help increase flexibility and reduce imbalances within your body. Having sports massages or using a foam roller are other ways to reduce problems while running. So stretch to basically reduce the risk of injury and keep you nice and supple when exercising.

Rest 

Exercising is great but remember that too much can be detrimental to your progress. Resting, taking a day off is a controversial one as some people do it and others don't. You could speak to one person and they advocate resting whereas another person would say you are missing out. So what do you do? Well, ultimately you should listen to how your body feels and generally, the moments when you are feeling tired and least interested should be your day of rest. Resting is good because it allows you to take a break mentally as well as physically. You allow your muscles and joints to recover and it gives you time to re assess your direction. It also allows you to load up on your glycogen stores which can help you run better when you next set out...

Carbohydrate Load

When resting before a big race or event it is often a great idea to do something known as 'Carb Load' and this means you increase the amount of carbohydrates you eat before game day. Carb loading is done by many endurance athletes who want to maximise their glycogen stores so that they last longer in events. It is best to load up on low sugar carbs so that you aren't spiking your blood sugar and storing it as fat. Stick to sweet potatoes, brown rice, brown pasta etc if you choose to do this option. Carbohydrates aren't the only source of nutrient you should be making sure you get enough of....

Protein

An incredibly important nutrient that endurance athletes seem to turn a deliberate blind eye too because of it's association with bodybuilders. Protein is responsible for muscle repair, restructure and growth which you want so that you can improve your time when out running. If you are constantly sore, feel lethargic and also feel as though your training is coming to a halt, it might be due to a lack of protein. Protein is essential after your run so that it can go straight to your muscle fibres and start re building them. Don't worry though, when you drink protein you won't automatically turn into the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Follow these helpful pointers and you will be running better than before :)

About the Author

Job Role Nutritional and Fitness Advisor Qualifications Premier International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy Scott has always been active growing up being involved in different sport teams and individual sports such as boxing and Jiu Jitsu. It wasn't until Scott dislocated his left knee during a Jiu Jitsu Competition when he developed a new passion which was going to the gym. Scott studied an International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy which he has used for over 8 years in the Fitness Industry. Scott has been successful in his field in the UK and in other countries of the world. He has helped many people achieve their goals in Fat Loss, Weight gain, Hypertrophy and other areas of Health and Fitness. Scott is very passionate and is a big motivator who is going to provide you with expert advice and looks forward to helping you with your goals. There is more to see of Scott as he will be competing in Fitness Modelling competitions this year and next so keep a look out for him.
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