If you're fairly new to running, you may have just one pace that you stick with for every run, regardless of the distance. It's normal to feel a little nervous to push yourself to the point where you start to feel a little uncomfortable. But adding some speed to some of your runs can have a lot of benefits, from increasing your calorie burn to improved running motivation.
To experiment with running faster, try doing a random interval workout (also called a fartlek run). Pick a landmark in the distance, such as a tree or a stop sign, and pick up the pace until you get to it. Don't be afraid to let your breathing get a little out of control. After you recover for a minute or two, choose another landmark and speed up again.
Once you feel you're ready for a more structured speed workout, try one of these:
Some people are hesitant to start running because they're worried about getting injured. The good news is that most running injuries are preventable. Follow these steps to keep yourself healthy and comfortable.
- Get the right running shoes. Be sure that your shoes aren't worn out and that you have the right model for your foot type and running style. The wrong shoe can actually aggravate existing problems, causing pain in your feet, legs, knees or hips. Wearing shoes that have lost their cushioning may also lead to injury. Go to a specialty running shop where you can be properly fitted for running shoes, and replace your running shoes every 350-500 miles.
- Avoid the "terrible too's". Many running injuries are a result of overtraining: too much intensity, too many miles, too soon. It's important to use a gradual approach when adding mileage or intensity to your training. Don't increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% each week. If you're adding speed, don't make a big increase in distance at the same time.
- Do regular strength-training. Some running injuries, especially knee and hip-related problems, are caused because of muscle weaknesses or imbalances. Doing core and lower body exercises two times a week can help keep injuries at bay.
Get more ways to prevent running injuries.
When Should I Run Through Pain?
10 Common Running Mistakes
Running Injury Prevention Tools
8 Rules for Speed Training
I can't think of any better way to stay motivated than running with other people. Who could possibly sleep in on a Sunday morning when you know your running buddy is going to be waiting at your favorite running trail? Besides more motivation, you'll get lots of other benefits of group training, from improved performance to expanded social circle.
The new year is a great time to resolve to find some running buddies. Not sure how to go about finding people to run with? Follow these steps -- and soon you won't be hitting the road by yourself.
This weekend is a big one for racing, from 5Ks to marathons. Whether you're running for under 30 minutes or over three hours, you'll need to be thinking about the race and preparing in the days leading up to it. For example, it's important to make sure you're getting decent sleep and not doing any intense or lengthy workouts. Here are some other tips for what to do in the next couple of days: