Tips for Your Best Run Ever - Alpha Male Nation
We all know that physical exercise is a great way of keeping both your body and your mind in good shape, with running being included into the most efficient ways of achieving both of these at the same time. Whether you are training to become a professional runner or just looking to get the most out of your morning run, it is important to know what type of guidelines will ensure your workout is simultaneously as safe and productive as possible. So, one major question arises: what are the essential tips for your best run ever?
‘To each, their own’ many would be inclined to say – and it is true, more so if we take into consideration how each person is different in their approach to this activity from many points of view. For example, people vary in a multitude of aspects, from their preferred time of the day for this exercise to the type of sports gear they acquire and even running techniques. Nonetheless, there are a few general rules which each and every one of us could use in order to maximize our training sessions, amongst which we can enumerate:
- Go with the flow – always pay attention to what your body is telling you in terms of speed, resistance, and overall exertion. Never overwork yourself, but try not to underestimate your running limits either. With a bit of practice, you will soon get the hang of the ideal running programme for yourself and your organism in particular.
- Don’t push yourself to the extreme – while we live in an age where speed and quick results are the things most sought after, you should keep in mind that overdriving your body is not the way to actually achieve visible effects on the long term. As a result, you should strive to constantly test your limits, but with caution and by paying close attention to what your body is saying.
- Think in minutes, not in miles – this is particularly true for beginners with running, since they are the most likely to look for a new ‘goal’ to set. Thus, forget about the distance and concentrate more on the quality and duration of the run, since these two elements are more likely to bring you results in time.
- Be your own coach – while many of us can’t afford a personal trainer in order to keep us from sleeping in and missing our morning run before work, what we can do is strongly motivate ourselves. While it sounds better in theory than in practice, this form of individual coaching can really improve the way in which you run – so give yourself a good internal pep talk every now and then to remind yourself how much you have progressed so far.
- Find your own music – while some people like to run while listening to their favourite playlist, others like to be in tune with their surroundings (when they are in the park or in nature, for instance). No matter your running ‘soundtrack’ of choice, just make sure that it is something to both relax and motivate you to go those extra 5 minutes today.
- Buy better gear – as you can probably guess, the first thing on the list is a good pair of running shoes. These are the most crucial element in a proper running regime, so make them an investment (even though they might seem a bit pricey at first, they will most definitely pay their worth along the way). Additionally, you could purchase other running items such as shirts, shorts or leggings, which will help with aerodynamics, heat management, and muscle protection.
- Make a habit out of it – while running can be a good way to de-stress once in a while, making a habit out of this exercise is the best means of ensuring you are getting all the benefits of such a complete workout for your organism and mental state alike. Thus, not only will your body become more toned and energetic, but you will also boost your good moods, sense of achievement, and mental organization patterns.
- Practical, but comfortable – when buying specific items for your running sessions, try to go a little bigger in clothes size and wider when it comes to shoes. Why? Well, it has been proven that having slightly looser sports gear will, in fact, help you perform better, not to mention be more comfortable and less likely to hinder your movements.
- Water is your best friend – hydration is key when running, no matter the weather you are facing or if you actually feel thirsty or not. Since you will definitely break a sweat during this workout, it is important to maintain a normal level of liquids into your organism. In this way, you will avoid sore ligaments and muscles, keep your major organs functioning properly, and keep premature exhaustion at bay.
- Follow the tempo of your body – if your body feels like it might collapse any minute, then that is a definite sign you have overspent yourself. This might call for a number of solutions, from changing your running patterns or intensity levels to better self-maintenance and a more in-depth understanding of your immediate limits. Regardless, it is better to follow your body’s own rhythm than risk hurting yourself in any form.
- ‘Personalize’ your manner of running – as mentioned above, different people need different running routines in order to make it feel like a complete process. So always keep in mind that this form of exercise should cater to your own needs and desires, no matter how strange your running habit(s) might seem to others.
- Careful with your diet – as you probably know by now, eating healthy and regularly during the day will help you both maintain a fit figure and also improve the quality of your running. Listen to what your stomach is saying (or rather grumbling about) and never starve yourself.
- Always think of the big picture – we all have our off moments, so don’t get too upset if you miss a running day or skip a part of your usual routine (let’s say, a couple of laps around the park). The key to a good running regime is to see the bigger picture, where your overall goals are just as important (if not more so) than the smaller victories and/ or ‘defeats’.
- Slow and steady wins the race – this doesn’t necessarily mean you should slow down your overall training rhythm, just that you should accommodate your running method to your level of physical fitness. Hence, if you are a ‘beginner’ runner, then you should consider gradually increasing the number of miles or minutes you set as a goal daily and not just try to overly push yourself beginning with the first few days.
- Change it up – while a predetermined running course will help you develop a better sense of rhythm and structure, it can also become boring or predictable after a while. The solution to this is occasionally ‘spicing’ up your running habits by taking a different course, trying out a completely new environment or, if you are used to running alone, by taking up a partner to keep you company.
- Be a smart runner – the only person you should be comparing yourself to in terms of running should be yourself, so always make the right decisions in this sense. Eat properly, hydrate constantly, learn your limitations and when it is safe to push them, alongside allowing yourself to celebrate small victories and not be disappointed by any setbacks.
- Leave your watch at home – constantly checking how long you have been running for will just make you more anxious or prone to comparing your previous times with your current one. Thus, try to concentrate on the act of running itself instead of worrying about the technical aspects. Remember – quality over quantity highly applies to running as well.
- Take time to heal – if you have suffered an injury – no matter how superficial or serious – you should definitely take some time and rest. Don’t worry about getting out of shape or losing the progress you have made so far because it is more important to work with a healthy body instead of causing any further damage to yourself.
- Go up that hill – I think it can be agreed upon that, every now and then, we all need a bit of a challenge in our running routine. Thereby, build up your resistance and increase your muscle strength by running up a hill. Afterwards, see whether you could actively integrate this sort of exercise into your habitual training programme.
- Quality over quantity – running any major distance and ending up breathless at the finish point will not always mean your body got the best out of this workout. The core essence of any good running regime is to make your organism more resistant and capable of handling longer periods of sustained exercising, so constantly favour the quality of your daily run over the quantity (time, miles, etc.).
- Find your rhythm – try around different running combinations and exercises to see what works for your body and what doesn’t. While challenging yourself is a great way of knowing what your limitations are, it is best to generally stick to a preformed pattern of running techniques, styles, and courses (so as to not confuse or overly strain your muscles completely).
- Supplement your organism – a nutritional and healthy diet will get you far, but, sometimes, you will need an extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help maintain your running capacity at its fullest. Consequently, look for good quality dietary supplements (preferably with 100% natural ingredients) to include into your routine diet. For instance, some swear by a combination of vitamin C and iron to help them run better, while others rely on natural plant extracts for that additional energy kick.
- Go for a gradual build up – nobody ever started a marathon at top speed – nobody with any knowledge about how running works, that is. This is owing to the fact that your body will become worn out after a couple of laps, rendering you incapable of reaching your goal. So, whether you are a training athlete or just someone who wants to increase their resistance, just start easy at first and work your way up from there.
- Prepare yourself mentally – while running is something highly related to your body, you should also consider the important part your brain and mental state also play in this. As it turns out, your mind controls your every movement, not to mention your capacity to overcome obstacles and push yourself further. So be present in the moment while you are running, keep a positive attitude, and try to make the most out of every such moment.
- Never skip a running day – unless you are sick or completely floored by work from morning till night, then there is no excuse to skip at least a small 15 minutes run. Squeeze a ‘quickie’ run in the morning or afternoon to really kick up your energy levels, while a more sustained and toned down run in the evening will help clear your head and de-tense your body after a hard day.
- Maintain a good posture – straighten your back, unclench your fists, and keep your eyes on the horizon if you want to enjoy a better and more ‘accurate’ running session. Furthermore, align your arms’ swinging to the positioning of your legs for better forward propulsion, while also controlling your hips and ankle movement.
- Creating a purpose – while many think of running as just another way to exercise your body, the truth is that it can be a wonderful way of improving your mental capacities, general drive, and outlook on life. Hence, by setting out physical goals, you are actively improving your mindset and capacity to be successful in other areas of your life as well.
There you have it! These are some of the most important tips when it comes to achieving the best run you can get. So stop making excuses, put on a good pair of running shoes, and hit the road! Soon enough, you will definitely become addicted to the ‘burn’ and effortlessly make running a part of your day to day life in no time at all!