Ways To Run Happier
1. Have Fun. Don't take every workout so serious. What fun is being stressed constantly?
2. Don't be in a hurry. Gains occur over time, not overnight. Expect soreness and it to be tough at first, gains later.
3. Take Iron supplements. I was diagnosed with anemia (low ferritin levels in the blood), wondered why I was so motivated and getting nowhere in races. This was the reason.
4. Drink water and plenty of it. We don't do this enough and the more you run the more it is essential that you hydrate well
5. Enjoy the little improvements. Whether it be a second off your run time or a pound of the 5 pounds you wanted to lose. An improvement is exactly that, a gain in the right direction.
6. Don't get greedy. This goes along with #5, too many runners run a personal best and are upset they didn't improve more. Normal reaction but nonetheless, you'll improve quicker by appreciating the little gains before the large ones come along.
7.Find a support channel and surround yourself with those individuals. Be it rundreamachieve.com, your spouse, friends and family. Positive interactions with people who understand your frustrations and excitement is vital.
8. Sleep. Nothing is more important for a training athlete. Take it seriously.
9. Practice your goal pace. The quickest way to faster times is practicing at the pace you are aiming for in your race. Do it and often.
10. Consider a heart rate monitor. The Garmin 410 is probably the top watch I would recommend, have used it for the past few years. Heart rate training is something you should strongly consider. Train at the precise level without unknowingly running too hard on days you should have run MUCH easier
11. Use your imagination. Visualize daily about your goals. See yourself crossing the finish line, be it a 1500m track race to an ultra marathon. Use the precious time you have during the day to mentally go over what it is you are aiming for. Your mind will work toward that goal!
12. Read. Find out methods of training you never considered before. Seek training ideas from coaches and elite athletes that train in a different way and mold that into your own form of training.
13. Take easy days, EASY. Don't spend time trying to impress your friends by the pace you run on your easy days. Think of the greatest runners in the world who run well under 2.10 for the marathon who run as slow as 14-minute per mile pace on their recovery days.
14. Read rundreamachieve.com. I will be wracking my brain for every bit of information I can put out to better runners, regardless of ability level. Use some of the tools here to put in your tool and trick kit to get to the start line locked, cocked and ready to rock.
15. Do sit-ups. A strong core will keep you aligned and strong in the latter stages of the race when your body wants to lean over.
16. Think positive. The alternative is not worth your time and energy. Negativity is everywhere and is so un-cool. Steer clear of going down that route and your running will skyrocket.
17. Take time to help another athlete. Use your experience. What has helped you in your own preparation? People usually take well to advice from those who have been in their shoes. You are that person. Make a difference in someone else's life by sharing your expertise.
18. Think big. Want a great tune to listen to, consider Peter Gabriel's ‘Big Time'…listen to the words of the song, powerful. Negativity is big business, at least in the news. Think big often and positive. Your running will thank you for it.
19. Be Ambitious. Goals are meant to be challenging. What fun is it in going after something that is easy, knowing you have worked your ass off for a great cause is something you can take with you for the rest of your life.
20. Don't believe in the word impossible. It is not allowed to be believed in or accepted here at rundreamachieve.com.
21. Embrace failure. Forget everything you have been told that it is a bad thing. Use it to your advantage. The world's greatest successes were born out of failure.
22. Use your mind. Consider reading The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
One of the best books I have read on the subconscious mind. Ever wonder what keeps you breathing, your hair and finger nails growing? How powerful could it be if we used all sections of our brain? Read up on ways to train your mind and you'll be on the right path for improving your running, and drastically.
23. Seek the truth. Find out what is the right ways to make jumps in your training and apply it your racing. There are runners out there running world-class times off of 60 miles a week. Who is to say you have to run 140 miles to produce a descent time? Find what works best for you and run with it.
24. Listen to your spouse. Yes, this certainly cannot hurt you, if your married. Our spouses see things we miss. If your staying up late and they suggest to you that you need to sleep more to achieve your goal. Don't brush it off. Constructive criticism should be a prized gift thrown into your lap, not advice to disregard.
25. Find a great coach. I have been extremely fortunate to have had Jack Hazen and Lisa Larsen Rainsberger as my coaches. They know you, how you operate during training, before and after races and have the expertise to make you better. Consider their ideas and I strongly suggest listening to their advice.
26. Seek out a shoe or product sponsor. If you are at the level where you think you may have a shot at either of these options running for a sponsor will give you added motivation to run well and receive free cool stuff while doing it.
27. Believe in yourself. A no-brainer, but vital for running success. Never let a bad performance end your quest to achieve a goal you have work so hard for. You missed it this time. So what, how many others have as well, yet went on to get their time and performance goals. Belief is the name of the game in this sport. You have all the tools, don't let up on yourself. There is nothing more awesome than a motivated person and you are that individual. This correlates to any endeavor.
28. Run above goal race pace. Yes, implement runs which exceed your goal race effort. How easy it going to feel in not only recovery runs, but efforts on the track or road when you have practiced at paces which exceed race pace. You will be that much more prepared to handle any race situation cause you have done it in training already.
29. Watch videos. A great way to get a quick dose of motivation. I still watch clips of Lance Armstrong in many of his Tour De France races. It doesn't have to even be about running. Anything inspirational that will get you in the right frame of mind can help.
30. Remember the compound effect. Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect goes over how increases it performance or anything else does not occur overnight, but overtime, massive improvements can be made by all the little things you do over a longer period. Running is in this category. Gains are not made immediately but by consistent, diligent hard work and from that these gains compound over and over.
31. Stretch. A technique which takes only minutes but far too many neglect. You can do this while watching television, at work, anywhere. The more you stretch the better chance you have of not getting injured. Consider it.
32. Finish the last 5 miles of your long run at goal race pace. You can extend the distance as you get fitter. A great way to improve from the mile all the way to the marathon distance.
33. Find a training partner. A great way to pass the time and get through the harder, more intense workout sessions.
34. Train at altitude. If you have the ability to do so. Your body produces more red blood cells and is forced to work with less oxygen. It is harder to recover but with time you will adapt. Go to sea level and consider running a race, see the difference.
35. Find a training plan and stick with it. A training plan can give you a long-term overview of what you need to do each day and keep you disciplined to stick with it until you reach your goal race. You could consider a strong coaching strategy.
36. Take ice baths. Painful yes, good for recovery, absolutely. I will say that I am not a fan of this but forced myself to implement this into my training. A very useful and effective way to flush out built up lactic acid in your muscles after hard workouts.
37. Relax. It is very easy to tense up during runs, especially during harder running. Next time your out running do a mental review of how tense you are. Can you relax the muscles of your face? If so, practice relaxing it. I think you'll find this is a great way to practice relaxing your whole body at maximal efforts. A great way to run and race with more ease and less unnecessary energy going to tensed up muscles.
38. Pray. Regardless what your religion is, a belief in something greater then yourself often times is a great way to derive strength when you think your on empty. if you are not a believer, consider yoga or meditation.
39. Get a weekly massage. Treat yourself for all your hard work. It is not only relaxing but is one more tool you can use to implement into your training week that will make you that much better of a runner, an even more recovered athlete.
40. Take a daily epson salt bath. A great way to assist your aching muscles recover and help you rejuvenate after a taxing day of training.