As a runner, you are probably on the constant lookout for the next thing you can do to improve your running: New training programs, technical clothing, a pair of quality running shoes… Who wants to be stuck in the same place, anyway? Running for 20 minutes this week and aiming for 25 next week is commonplace amongst runners who are working towards improving their athleticism. Wanting to do more and become better are positive signs that you are not happy with just the status quo. A growth mindset, the right training program and an investment in quality garments and shoes from a trusted running shop in Singapore can take your running game to the next level.
Yet, nothing takes a runner out like injuries and the lack of motivation, and these two are not mutually exclusive. Injuries can really set you back in your motivation! How can you improve your overall running performance and avoid these roadblocks?
What to Do to Improve Your Runs
You already know what running does for your body—one run can help improve your fitness, keep you healthy, and give you a mood boost. In fact, it is the cheapest way one can maintain or improve their health. Here are 5 tips you can use to bring your running game to the next level:
1. Increase aerobic endurance
Plenty of your muscles are working together every time that you run, specifically your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Running on a regular basis helps build that level of muscular endurance that allows you to go further or harder the next time. It’s called your aerobic endurance. To increase your endurance level, you can start with:
- Trying some high-intensity interval training or HIIT
- Running long but slow
- Building more muscle mass with strength training
2. Avoid overtraining
Plenty of runners want results in an instant, which leads them to overtrain because they think that more is better. However, more is not always better. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and improving your runs takes hard work and consistency, especially if you are a seasoned runner. Muscular growth happens at rest, so while training is important, resting is equally important. Listen to your body because no one knows it better than you!
3. Invest in appropriate garments and shoes
Since you will be training regularly, you will be washing your workout clothes frequently as well. Quality running shorts that can endure frequent usage and washing is something you want to invest in. Beyond just lasting for a longer time, these quality garments and shoes can increase your performance because the technical fabric can regulate your body temperature and keep you comfortable while you run!
4. Consistent cross-training
If you dislike weight training and have chosen running as your sport to get away from weight training, this one’s for you! Weight training and other forms of cross-training should be used to complement your runs as they can help you to run more efficiently, and lower your risk of injuries. Cycling or swimming, for example, can help to build endurance while putting less stress on the joints. Weight training, especially unilateral movements like lunges, single-legged squats and deadlifts can help to strengthen your running movements, and general weight training can hit the weak muscle groups that you might have overlooked. These are all key to injury prevention and run efficiency.
5. Stick to a healthy diet
What you eat impacts your performance. Food is fuel! It is crucial to be picky about what you eat before and after your runs. Running requires a lot of energy, so one easy change you can start with is carb-loading. Carb-loading is considered to be the holy grail to faster running. Eat more pasta, rice, and potatoes to power your running, along with protein to stabilise your blood sugar and help you feel fuller during your run.
How to Stay Motivated
Starting is important, but so is sticking with the journey, especially when it gets tough. Consistency is key, but how can one stay consistent, especially when motivation is on an all-time low? Here are some tips:
1. Review your goals and progress
Keep track of your progress using an app or a logbook, and review them regularly. It is easy to lose track of your goals and forget why you started in the first place. Reviewing your goals and progress can help you bring to the conscious mind how far you have come, and where you intend to go.
2. Find mentors
Join a community and get to know other like-minded athletes, especially runners who have many years of experience under their running belt! They can give you invaluable advice with regards to mindset, training, injury prevention and rehabilitation, and provide moral support as well.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people
It is always easier to have people around you cheering you on! Surround yourself with people who believe in you and want to see you achieve your running goals.
Running Shoes and Attire from Decathlon
There may be plenty of running stores in Singapore, but only a few can give you quality running gear at an affordable price. At Decathlon, you will find all you need for your runs. Start your training here!
You can order new running shoes and shorts online on their website. Check them out today.