By making smaller and simple changes, you can both run faster and for longer. If you are struggling to increase your runs, making these small steps to better them, will make them more enjoyable and less risk of injury.
Small Tweaks in your Technique
After years of running in the same style, it can take weeks to make small changes to it. Small tweaks can improve everything from your speed and efficiency to being less prone to injury and as stiff afterwards. The first tweak to make is to make sure that you are running tall, puling your head as high as possible and not allowing your hips to slump. Also make sure to have a slight lean with your entire body and not just bent over from the hips.
We all have different running techniques and foot planting techniques, aim to land your feet underneath your body and not ahead of you – encouraging a mid foot strike rather than heel. With many other small tweaks that can be made to your style, make sure to seek running advice if required.
If you are training for a 5k or much farther, the fast way to improve your running is to acclimatise your body and its muscles fibres to the demands and feeling of a much faster pace.
By doing small bursts of HIIT you will notice a subsequent running speed increase.
Build up your Endurance
It may seem an obvious pointer, but to help increase your endurance, you need to start running longer distances. The thing to remember here is that you don’t need to run the further distance at a similar pace as your smaller runs.
When trying to build your running endurance, aim to increase 1 run a week by a distance that is achievable – roughly by 10%. Another strategy is increasing the tempo within your run, running at a higher pace for five minutes of each run allowing recovery time in between.
Get some new shoes
The average number miles you should do in each pair of shoes lies between 300 and 500 – once in that period you should be thinking of investing in a new pair. After many miles of running your shoes will start to lose their cushioning and stability leaving you at a higher risk of injury. With shoes that are nearly finished, you will start to feel the effects in your feet, achilles tendons and shins, but issue can resonate further up to knees and hips.
Increase your strength
By strengthening key muscle groups in your legs you can increase your leg strength helping with quicker and less injury running. One legged squats can be one of the best leg strengthening exercise. Start by standing on one leg and squat as far as you can without tilting your hips or knee turning in. The depth will relate to the strength of your legs and muscles – as time goes on, you will be able to get better depth and do more sets and reps.