If you have read and implemented my 'Running' article you should have already built up a fairly good base for your running skills. You should be able by now to run for 20 minutes or 3 miles easily and I suspect are considering how to improve. I have compiled a few tips on how you can go from a Sunday runner (amateur) to a serious distance runner. So take a look, start implementing these tips and let me know how you get on in the comments.
- Increase your running stride: you'll naturally cover more ground
- Try competing: there's nothing like some good ol' adrenaline to get your going, you can also pick up some practical advice with the runners on the day
- Take a rest day after your long run: your muscles are fatigued, you actually improve through rest not exercising
- Add hill runs: you'll improve your functional leg strength (separate post on its' way)
- Add tempo runs: these are 'comfortably hard' runs that improve your lactic acid threshold thereby increasing your muscle endurance (separate post on its' way)
- Run further to run faster
- Practice base running: by running at a slower tempo you train the heart and muscle to be more efficient with oxygen and metabolizing waste
- Lose your extra weight: this will naturally make running easier for you, focus on your diet and water consumption
- Drink enough water to avoid dehydration and fatigue
- Work your core with function ab work: a strong core stabilizes the lower body and helps it to remain efficient
- Cross train: by training alternative muscles you'll be stronger in those areas so they can assist your major running muscles - especially useful when you're fatigued
- Incorporate yoga or stretching: having long, lean, supple muscles will reduce the risk of injury
I hope these are useful for you. If you have any other suggestions let me know by leaving them in the comments.