Great Running Tips for All Runners

Check out these running tips and reminders to keep you strong, fresh and motivated all the way to the finish line of your next running goal. From flexibility to fartlek training, running tips are not just for beginners. Compiled from a wide variety of 5k to ultra marathon runners from all over the world, runners of all levels can gain some new insight by reading and re-reading some of the time tested truths in the following running tips.

1. Write down your goals...and post them in an obvious place. Writing causes thinking, thinking causes emotion, and emotion causes action! For help on writing smart running goals, check out this goal setting worksheet.

2. Stay hydrated As a runner you need to pay extra attention to your water consumption. Dehydration is arguably the biggest training and performance killer that is within your control! Get in the habit of having reusable water bottles around at home and in the office.

3. Grease up Avoid friction at all costs! Wear moisture wicking clothing and grease up any skin that touches seams, material or other body parts. If you dont' employ this running tip, none of the other running tips will matter as you wont' be running.

4. Love Caffeine Unless you have medical reasons to avoid caffeine, caffeine sources such as green tea and strong coffee help to increase mental alertness, your body’s ability to burn free fatty acid for fuel and enhances your endurance capacity! If you're properly hydrated, the diuretic effects of 1 or 2 cups of green tea or coffee will be easily offset.

5. Running technique Whether you're a beginner or veteran runner, take the time learn about the basic elements that make up correct running form . You'll run more efficiently, effectively and your body will thank you for it.

6. Recover Place tremendous emphasis on your easy days and days off. Remind yourself that these are period of growing stronger where you make the most of your last hard workout and get ready to give it your all for your next one.

7. Go Anaerobic At least once a week, spend time training anaerobically. This is great for your heart, lungs and mental focus. It also teaches your body how to become better at dealing with excess lactate that readily builds up during racing. Read more about this on the tempo run page.

8. Stretch Allow time to perform some static stretching into your post run routine. Work some ballistic stretching before performing hard runs such as intervals or a hill workout.

9. Do Yoga 30 to 60 minutes of yoga a week is a brilliant benefit to any runner's total fitness by providing increased flexibility, balance and core strength. The every essence of yoga helps runners to learn patience and focus - two invaluable running weapons!

10. Have Fartlek Fun Regular fartlek training in place of intervals at a track is fun, fresh and extremely effective. Criss-cross the road, hop the puddles, run between poles, chase the dog, jump and duck branches, sprint by the stands...the only limitations are those you place on yourself. Mix it up, be creative and be free:)

11. Run to the Hills! Performing hill repeats is one of the best uses of your training time. Short hills, steep hills, long hills - whatever you can find, hills provide the benefit of working many of your bodily systems simutaneously for a great training effect. Check out these running drills that include 'bounding' and 'high knees' - a few movements you can incorporate into your hill workouts to also target your lower extremeties.

12. Time your Nutrition Aruably the most important time to get your nutrition right is after you hard workouts. Be sure to ingest the proper fuel mix of antioxidants, glycogen and protein in liquid format within 1 hour of completing your workout. This is crucial for your recovery and rebuilding process.

13. Make Step Goals Training can be a long and lonely process and setting short term step goals help to keep you motivated to continue training. They also provide a fun and challenging way of testing your fitness while getting race experience. You can also use races during training to practice pacing in a social setting. There's almost always a local 5k or 10k you can sign up for. Shoot to fit one half way through your program.

14. Fuel Your Long Runs Be sure to eat between 1 and 2 hours before your long runs (anything over 1.5 hours in length). Something easily digestible like oatmeal or a bagel with peanut butter. Experiment with foods that work for you during training so that you know what works on race day.

15. Avoid sidewalks Concrete has virtually no absorbency when it comes to impact so it should be avoided like the plague! Ideally, mix up the surfaces you run on including trails, treadmill, gravel road and pavement. Each different surface varies the stress on your legs and offers a different training benefit.

16. Don't be a loner While it's important to run alone, especially for your high intensity days, it's also great on many levels to connect with other runners. Not only does the time pass during a long run, but who else can you share all of your trvial training details with who actually cares to listen?

17.Run early Running early when ever you can is not just a great way to see the sun rise. This strategy also ensures that nothing else in your busy day will get in your way of your run. First thing in the morning also happens to be the time of day where your glucose levels are most stable which can translate into a reliable energy source. For an extra fat burning boost, run before you eat (see page on running to lose weight for more details.

18. Listen to your body. There is a difference between soreness or fatigue and a pre-injury state. If you are experiencing pain that either stays the same or worsens as your run continues, consider taking recovery days rather than continue training. This kind of pain typically feels 'hot' and hurts to the touch. When in doubt, seek the assistance of a professional therapist to diagnose and treat your ailement before you are side-tracked from training for a lengthy period of time. You can't run from an injury!

If you haven't already done so, check out the running workouts page.

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