Training To Run Better, Farther
August 9, 2017 Blogroll, Latest Buzz No Comments

Training To Run Better, Farther

There’s a lot to love about running. It’s a great way to burn calories, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and even socialize with other runners.  But as most runners know, it’s also a great way to build your confidence and self-esteem.

For a real confidence booster, running races is a great way to up the ante and challenge yourself. Whether it’s a 5K fun-run or a serious marathon, you set a goal months ahead of time and work hard to reach it. When race day finally arrives, you might question your ability, but you try, and you succeed. All this can do wonders for your self-esteem because you’re meeting and beating a challenge.

But it’s not like you can go from a quick morning jog to a marathon in a few days. You must slowly train to run better and farther. That means finding the right places near you to train, building up your endurance, and staying safe.

Finding The Right Place To Train

Before you can build up to running big races, you need a safe, effective place to run. Thankfully, that’s not too hard to find. Another great thing about running is that you don’t need to find a court or track, though you do need to be smart about it.  Running in the city and suburbs means paying attention to traffic, whether it’s cars, bikes, or people. But be careful with Google Maps or GPS apps, as buildings can interfere with your phone or watch. It’s also best to avoid routes that are heavy with traffic or full of potholes.

Rather than randomly search for a great running route, try asking a local runner.  If you don’t know anyone in person, look online for running clubs or forums dedicated to running in your area.  Then ask them for any good routes they’ve used in the past.  You can also research online, and try to find pedestrian-friendly routes in your neighborhood.

Building Up To Bigger Races
Once you have your routes in place, it’s time to start the serious training.  First, don’t set a marathon as your goal unless you’re an experienced runner. Choose a race  that’s best for your ability but that offers a challenge. By training progressively over several months, you can reach your goal more comfortably and with less risk of injury.

Start by focusing on your aerobic development. Think of this as training to train. You need the cardiovascular development to run longer and farther. Keep your runs around 30-40 minutes, and alternate between a simple pace and cross-training days (where you swim, cycle, etc.). You can even start by walking if you’re not used to intense exercise.

Keeping Safe While Running Races
One of the biggest health obstacles when training is dehydration. Your body temperature increases when you run, and a hot summer day will speed up the process. Dehydration means less blood pumping to the muscles, which in turn means less oxygen reaching your muscles, which is why being dehydrated can lead to cramps and muscle spasms.  Before your run, do a warmup and then stretch and loosen up. Focus on your ankles, knees, and hips to get your body ready to run. After your route is over, spend some time cooling down by walking and stretching.  This helps alleviate muscle soreness later in the day.  If you’re tired of the same old morning job, maybe it’s time to push yourself. You CAN run better and farther. Just be sure to take it slow and steady. Find the right place to train, build up to longer distances and speed, and make sure you stay safe along the way.

For more information, contact Jason Lewis jason@strongwell.org.

Written by Alec