13 Running Tips to Help Take Your Performance a Step Further

So you’ve been running for a while, your fitness levels are high and your wellness has never been better – but do you think you know it all? While you may not be a beginner anymore, there are still things you can learn about running, and how to get the most for your wellbeing. Therefore, we’ve rounded up some key tips from the best in the business, so you can take your running performance to the next level.


1. Make Time for a Quickie: “If 15 minutes is all the time I have, I still run,’ says Dr. Duncan Macdonald, former US record holder at 5000. ‘Fifteen minutes of running is better than not running at all.’


2. Follow the Road Rule: Runner and writer Dr. George Sheehan notes, ‘Running against traffic allows the runner to be in command. Anyone who is alert and agile should be able to stay alive.’


3. High Noon: ‘Noontime running provides a triple benefit: daylight, a break from the workday, and a chance to avoid eating a heavy lunch,’ points out runner and writer Joe Henderson.


4.  Always Stay Hydrated: Dr. Alex Ratelle, former masters running great, urges, ‘Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! In cold weather and warm. We use water to sweat, lubricate joints, tendons, and ligaments, and to carry blood efficiently to major organs. I work all day at hydrating.’ Jim Fixx, author of the running bestseller, The Complete Book of Running,adds, ‘Is beer good for runners? Sure…if it’s the other guy drinking it.’


5. Listen: According to Dr. Sheehan: ‘You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance, but not through pain…Your body is always trying to tell you where you are’


6. Find Your Mantra: Renowned German coach Dr. Ernst van Aaken details, ‘My whole teaching in one sentence is: “Run slowly, run daily, drink moderately, and don’t eat like a pig.’


7. Make it Fun: ‘Fitness has to be fun,’ Dr. Sheehan asserts. ‘If it isn’t, there will be no fitness. Play is the process. Fitness is merely the product.’ He adds, ‘Beware when you become tired and listless, when you lose interest in workouts and approach them as a chore rather than a pleasure.’ Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World editor and 1968 Boston Marathon champ, points out, ‘A 40-minute run punctuated with a half-dozen 30-second pace pickups (not all-out sprints) can really jazz up an otherwise boring training run.’


8. Look at the Big Picture: Clarence DeMar, seven-time Boston Marathon champion and U.S. Olympic marathoner, comments, ‘Whether one shall run on his heels or his toes is hardly worth discussing. The main thing in distance running is endurance – and how to get it.’


9. Keep it Simple: ‘Throw away your 10-function chronometer, heart-rate monitor with the computer printout, training log, high-tech underwear, pace charts, and laboratory-rat-tested-air-injected-gel-lined-mo-tion-control-top-of-the-line footwear,’ recommends Lorraine Moller, 1992 Olympic marathon bronze medalist. ‘Run with your own imagination.’


10. Go Steady: John Campbell, former masters running star from New Zealand, advises, ‘Day to day consistency is more important than big mileage. Then you’re never shot the next day.’


11. Find the Right Balance: ‘If you run 30 miles a week, then about 7 of those-or approximately one-quarter-should be quality miles,’ says running writer Owen Anderson, PhD. ‘Quality miles will boost your aerobic capacity.’


12. Try New Foods: Liz Applegate, PhD, enthuses, ‘Like cross-training, “cross-eating” adds needed variety to your diet-and life. Expand your nutritional repertoire by trying one new food each week.’


13. Don’t Force the Tissue: Tim Noakes, MD, author of Lore of Running, warns, ‘Overly aggressive stretching can actually increase your injury risk.’

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