Running is a great exercise, and it’s definitely worth the time you put into it. Are you curious about how you can improve your morning jog? There are a number of things you can do to improve the time you spend jogging around your neighborhood or training for your next marathon. These are 25 Simple Jogging Tips Every Runner Should Know!
Time your steps
Use a metronome app to keep your pace up. After a while, you’ll start to recognize when your pace drops or picks up without using the app.
Push your chest out
Basically, imagine that you are being pulled along by your chest to avoid hunching your shoulders. This will make it easier to breathe. In other words, do what your mom always told you…stand up straight.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that beginners make. If you breathe too fast, or hyperventilate, your body won’t have enough time to get rid of CO2. Try to relax and control your breathing a little.
Train in intervals
To increase your speed, do short sprints of about 20 seconds and take a 10 second break between each one. Do this 30-40 times taking a longer break every 10 sprints.
Match your stride to your breath
Finding a rhythm can work wonders. For example, try taking two strides per exhale and two strides per inhale.
Note: find a pattern that works for you, it doesn’t have to be two strides
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Stretching before running can actually increase your chance of injury. Instead, start with a walk, then a slow jog, and then finally transition into a run. Leave the stretching until after your run.
Talk to yourself
Well, sort of. Have a few go-to phrases that you can repeat to yourself when the going gets tough. Poems or song lyrics work great. It will take your mind off of things and help you push through.
Run like you bike
When you run, your feet should move in a circular motion, kind of like biking. In fact, try imagining a circle, or even a clock. Your foot should hit the ground at 6, come up passing through 9, reach all the way up to 12, stretch to 3, and come back down to strike the ground at 6.
The average person should be drinking roughly half their body weight in ounces every day. Even more so if you’re a runner!
A word of warning – downhill running has a higher rate of injury than uphill running or running on flat surfaces, so be careful. Having said that, one possible training regimen is to run downhill and jog back up several times. This will give you some practice running faster than you otherwise could on a flat surface.
Practice box jumps
A great plyometric exercise, they will help your legs learn to absorb impacts more efficiently.
Let gravity help push you along by leaning forward when you run.
Note: this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your body straight or maintain good posture.
Ditch your stuff
Every once in a while, leave your phone and iPod behind. This will teach you to get a feel for your pace without relying on any external device.
Your body tends to find more efficient ways of doing things when you push yourself to the max. To avoid over-training though, as you near the finish of your run, start pushing yourself harder.
Land on the ball of your feet
If you land on you heel, your running career will be a lot shorter than it otherwise would be. The ball of your foot is better at absorbing shocks.
Split your run in half and time the first part. Then try to beat that time during the second half. If you can’t beat yourself, you ran too fast in the beginning.
There are many upper body exercises that will actually help your running, but planking is one of the best. It is a great way to strengthen your core and abdomen.
A lot of people run in the morning, and that’s great, but make sure that you get rest the night before. This will promote healing and reduce inflammation.
If you find yourself clenching your fists when you run, try running with a rolled up piece of paper in your hands. (Make sure that it doesn’t get crumpled!) This will decrease the tension in your upper body and conserve energy.
Research has shown that something as simple as smiling can change your mental perspective and even your heart rate when you are going through a stressful time.
Look for landmarks
Rather than imagining your run as a whole, break it up into pieces and look for the landmarks that your recognize. This can have a tremendous impact on your motivation.
Don't trail your leg
If you want more speed, kick your trailing leg up to your butt as soon as you lift it. This will reposition it faster.
Run in different directions
What we mean by this is to run sideways and backwards as well as forwards, kind of like those shuffles you did in gym class when your were a kid. This will get your muscles working in ways that they wouldn’t if you just ran straight ahead.
Find the right shoe
Actually, let an expert find the right shoe for you. Try going to a store that specializes in running gear and ask for help in finding the right pair. This will help prevent blisters and injuries.
All of the tips you just read are great, but don’t dwell on them too much. If you catch yourself doing something like landing on your heel, then fix it, but don’t beat yourself up over it. Try to empty your mind and enjoy the run. You can’t change your form overnight, and research shows that overthinking it can actually lead to worse performance.
Photos: 24. Dillon Arloff, from The Noun Project, Running icon – Noun Project 17825, CC BY 3.0, 23. chintermeyer via flickr, 22. Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons/, 19. © Nevit Dilmen, Music 01754, CC BY-SA 3.0, 14. WikiDiego91, Gravity (movie logo), CC BY-SA 3.0, 12. Andrew Hurley via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 8. Eugene0126jp, Dog.in.sleep, CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. I, Ralpharama, Clenched human fist, CC BY-SA 3.0, 5. Kyle Cassidy, Running Man Kyle Cassidy, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. Jennifer C via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 1. Filosofias filosoficas, Filos segundo logo, direction of face, CC BY 3.0