2. Run outside. Yes, I know this should seem obvious, but so many people I know revert to the treadmill in their basement because it is frigid outside. I don't like the treadmill for a few reasons. First, you aren't going anywhere. Also, treadmills do not correctly mimic the action of running. When we run outside we push against the ground to propel us forward. But treadmills do this work for us engaging different muscles (if any really) and spurring poor form. All a treadmill becomes is a heart rate booster. And it doesn't even do a good job of that! Since it is inside we have easier air to breathe and we aren't experiencing the natural bumps and inclines of being outside. It is just too perfect of a scenario. If you must run outside, I suggest running the track at your gym (if you belong to one) or find an indoor track-- they are much better than treadmills. If you cannot find one, then go outside!
3. Don't run so far. Don't kill your body. Only run as far as you feel you want to go and don't push yourself too hard. This can cause injury. Our bodies will slowly adapt to more miles as we practice.
4. Run on grass or soft surfaces. I only run in forest preserves or on the streets if I have to. Never the side walk. Think about it. When in nature were we ever pounding our feet on concrete?
5. Grab a partner! Yes running with a partner not only keeps up your pace, but also makes the time go by much faster. You don't even have to talk, but having someone next to me always gives me inspiration to keep on pushing through that last mile.
6. Switch up running long distance with sprints. Our bodies like sprinting. It triggers the fast-twitch muscle fibers in our body and jacks up our endurance. When running, try incorporating a few sprints for ten seconds and then returning to your normal pace that way you incorporate both slow and fast-twitch muscle movements.
7. Pace and record yourself. I always bring a watch and make sure my pace is staying within a good speed. If not, I am aware and speed up instead of remaining at an unconscious turtle speed. I also think it is good to record our times to see progress and which paths we ran on that provided us the best results.
8. Stretch. I do this before and after a run. Don't neglect stretching it is so important for a runner's body! Before running, I walk a little bit to get warmed up (instead of just bolting out into my run) and I will do a couple high-knees, butt kicks, side lunges, and knee pulls. I'll run in place fast to get my toes prepared too. Then I will run. Once I am done, I work with my body on a foam roller. Instead of rolling back and forth, if I find an uncomfortable point, I stay on it to work out the kink.
Alright folks, that's what I've got on running! On that note, I am going to go run a bit myself since I haven't met my weekly distance yet (I am trying to train for lacrosse season). I hope some of this helps if you are coming from a runner background and hopefully you will think about incorporating some of these changes for a happier body and better successes during your runs!