When it comes to improving your running performance, the most common advice is to run farther. But if you look at data from some of the world’s top runners, it becomes clear that this isn’t always the best strategy. In fact, a better way is to run faster.
Running as a form of exercise is not only hard on your body but also on your mind. It can be frustrating when you’re left feeling like you’re not making any progress and are unable to reach your fitness goals.
Improving your running performance
Improving your running performance might not be that complicated as you might think. There are some simple ways to improve your performance. High-Intensity Interval Training, tempo running, and other workouts are an excellent way to enhance your performance and overall fitness level.
Few exercises are more effective and rewarding than running. It will make you feel agile, in a better mood, and vital. But to be a good runner, you have to start at the right pace, be regular and not make inevitable mistakes. Coach Martín Giacchetta gives us the keys to achieve goals.
Running outdoors has been in vogue for decades. It is cheap, simple, and scientifically proven that, even in urban areas where cars pass, healthier than a sedentary life.
Running is the trend that wins the most followers. Compared to other names, such as jogging or jogging, which refer to running without setting goals, runners do set goals and progression. In this sense, it is more exciting and rewarding.
The Advantages of Running
One of the significant advantages of running is that in a short time, you can see how your performance grows and, with it, the stimulus to continue practicing the next day.
To start, besides, practically nothing is needed, just interest and the conviction that you do it to enjoy.
The advantages of agility, health, strength, and vitality in general must be the consequence of exercise, but that is not the only motivation. You have to enjoy the challenge of running.
The first key: Be Realistic
It is logical that it costs you more when taking the first steps in the early sessions and, above all, as it happens with any sport. In improving your running performance you must be consistent. Running requires perseverance.
Running sets goals, so it is more rewarding and exciting.
“The important thing is to have a realistic goal,” says personal trainer Martín Giacchetta. “You can’t just go out the first day after years without running.” You are going to make comparisons with what you did, and you are going to be demoralized. You have to start small. In the end, you will feel optimistic about what it is to train”.
Improving your running performance: Preparation
“For a runner, it is the connection with the ground. You have to monitor quality,” explains the coach. If you’re going to get serious, it’s a good idea to have your footprint discussed with a podiatrist to make sure you buy the right shoe, which doesn’t always have to be the most expensive.
The right place.
The most suitable soil is the earth, which is more uneven and with less rebound effect. Then, the asphalt, less aggressive than concrete or the sidewalk, but sometimes more dangerous for cars. If you usually can’t run in nature, do it at least on weekends. Running on varied terrain, with ups and downs, does not injure so much since different muscle groups work, and the effort is distributed among them. “If you train on the ground, there is less risk of injury,” says Giacchetta.
Alone or accompanied?
Surely it will cost us less to go out if we run in the company. And while exercising, we socialize two in one. And if you overdo the exercise and feel bad, he can help you.
Warming up is part of the training. You can’t go from walking to running fast in a moment. Blood and muscles stretch little by little. Start by stretching your muscles without pain and walk briskly or jog for five minutes.
The Best Way to Run
In improving your running performance, it is essential to maintain a correct posture, although we must not forget that everyone has a natural way of running:
- The head should be upright and the gaze straight ahead; Running looking at the ground, head down could lead to cervical discomfort.
- The trunk straight, although slightly inclined forward, a posture that is too vertical or even backward would lead to lumbar problems.
- The arms have a very important compensatory and balancing role; they should be kept relaxed, flexing the elbow of about 90 degrees.
- You have to make short strides and support the heel first and then the rest of the sole.
- The hands should also be relaxed, never clenching the fists.
- The strides should be relatively short so that they give momentum naturally. Both legs should travel the same distance, share the same momentum, and maintain the same supports; otherwise, muscle and joint injuries may occur.
The feet should be supported well, first with the heel and then moving naturally and continuously to support the entire sole.
Exercise Plan for Beginners
“We are not all the same, and even people who may have similar physical characteristics are not equally prepared to make the same effort. It is convenient to try and feel comfortable in the exercise, without forcing,” says Guiacchetta.
That is why it is not about you taking this program at face value. You have to make your rhythm.
When you train, try to reach your goals, then you will try to go faster.
Goals can be by time or by distance. “When you’re used to running, your goal should be to get a good distance during training, and then you’ll improve your speeds,” says the coach.
You don’t have to run every day. “Rest and recovery days are equally important,” emphasizes the coach.
An example of basic training
We are going to start interspersing walks with more demanding runs (always at your own pace).
You will run Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
- First week: 6 minutes walking, 2 running. You repeat—a total of 16 minutes.
- Second week: 4 minutes walking and 2 running. Repeat two more times. Total 18 minutes.
- Third week: 3 minutes walking and 3 running. You repeat three times. Total 18 minutes.
- Fourth week: 3 minutes walking and 4 running. You repeat three times. Total 21 minutes.
- Follow this progression, and at the end of the second month, you can already do three blocks of ten minutes running with one minute walking in between each time. Total: 33 minutes.
If it is a young person with a medium weight, we can start from the beginning half an hour from the beginning, adapting this plan to your level. It can be approximately 3 or 4 times a week, races of 25 or 30 minutes.
If you are already a Runner
Those who are more used to running and who set the goal of doing a half marathon have to do at least 35 to 40 kilometers per week.
You can do 4 weekly sessions running 10 kilometers.
Another option is to do 3 sessions of 8 kilometers and one of 14 or 15 km.
The Errors of Bad Runner
- If it’s cold, don’t wear just any jacket. If it’s inappropriate and you don’t perspire well, then it will make you sweat excessively.
- Goals are sometimes unrealistic. It is crucial to set objectives that can be met.
- Train wisely. Don’t expect improvements from one month to the next when you haven’t trained in years.
- Pay attention to the seamless socks that absorb sweat well and that do not slip to avoid blisters.
- Buy all the equipment (heart rate monitor, tights, shoes) the first day and forget about motivation.