When it comes to getting the most out of running it is important to maintain good form which can prevent you from derailing your efforts. These are some of the important things that you may be skipping that can impact your overall results.
Stick to a consistent steady pace
If it's been a while since you have hit the road, pace yourself until you get the hang of it. Pick a pace that you are comfortable with and stick to it instead of abruptly switching it, which can increase your chances of injuring and straining yourself. Gradually push your body once it becomes used to the distance and the pace to gently ease your way into reaching your goal.
Never take your warm-ups for granted
Stretching before any workout and having a cool-down session is crucial to getting the oxygen and blood flow to your muscles and ligaments to reduce your chances of sustaining an injury or hurting yourself.
You want to ease the tension in your body as much as possible before you start running. A common mistake that most runners make is holding the tension in their upper body, which can be loosened by maintaining the right form and stretching before you go. Your hands should be relatively relaxed instead of crunched when running to show that you have loosened up.
Reduce your steps
Conserve your energy and protect your knees from impact by taking short steps that can help you get the most out of your running. Shorter steps can help you pace yourself accordingly and maintain a good form which is crucial to helping you see results.
Run for the hills
Switching up your pace and your running route can make your workout less boring and also maximise your leg muscles. Try to include running up and down hills to improve your speed, upper body strength and build your leg strength. You can choose to go for a steady pace or a hard run up a hill according to your level of fitness. Remember to give your body the necessary break it needs the next day.
Maximise rest days
There are usually three running phases; the start, the why did I get myself into this, and the runners high. The latter is what keeps us going back each time, which is good, but it is important to give your body the necessary rest it needs. You can schedule a rest day after the day you have had a run to relax your muscles and prevent you from sustaining injuries. Things to include on rest days is stretching and foam rolling to relax your muscles.
Choose your surface wisely
Not all surfaces are created equally, and it can impact various muscles and ligaments when you run on them. If you are a light runner that enjoys a fast pace, consider running on pavements. However, keep in mind that it comes with the drawback of not cushioning your steps.
Some of the best surfaces to run on is in a forest or park space that can provide great cushioning. Remember to keep an eye out for any roots or stones that can cause you to trip or twist an ankle. There is also the option of using a treadmill that can provide you with the run you need with good cushioning. Just remember to keep good form even when you are running on a treadmill.
Don’t forget strength training
Make sure that you include weight training to train all your muscles. Weight training is also beneficial when it comes to maintaining good form and maximising each movement to get the best results.