There's more than just experience and time separating everyday runners from the athletes you see tearing up the track on your television screen. The truth is that professional runners do things differently to the rest of us, and if you want to harness their level of expertise, then you need to start thinking the same way that they do.
Running is an incredible way to stay fit, but if you learn how to do it right, then you can maximize the benefits most people experience, enhancing your weight loss, preventing injury, and even boosting your performance.
If you're looking for ways to make the most out of your running experience, the following tips should help you make the transformation from fitness amateur, to running pro.
1. Stay on Track
By "staying on track", we don't mean that you need to avoid veering off into the woods if you want to start running like a pro (though that might help). Rather, we mean that you need to be consistent with your workouts. If you stop running for a while, or take a break from those afternoon jogs, then you're going to need to build up your conditioning all over again.
If you want to take your run to the next level, you need to make sure you stay consistent. Start a training program or sign up for a race - whatever works to keep you motivated.
2. Dress the Part
You don't need to invest in a brand new kit to start running like a pro, but you do need to think carefully about what you're wearing. After all, the perfect pair of shoes can be the thing that separates feeling light on your fight, from feeling aching and sluggish.
In the same vein, a set of knee compression sleeves can help to promote healing after a run so you avoid aching joints, while calf compression sleeves during your run can enhance endurance and performance by improving circulation and stability.
3. Remember Proper Form
Running may be one of the simplest ways to work out, but that doesn't mean it doesn't require any skill whatsoever. You need to learn proper form if you want to avoid exposing your body to potential injury. Remember when you're running that your head should be stacked straight over your spine, your shoulders should be relaxed, and your abs should be engaged.
4. Get Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to ensure you have a great run. If you don't drink enough water before you head out onto the track, then the chances are you'll have to stop quicker than you'd like because of a cramp or fatigue. Make sure you drink at least one ounce of water for every ten pounds of your body weight around an hour before your workout, and watch out for signs of dehydration while you run.
5. Fuel Up
Finally, running on an empty stomach means you won't have the amount of energy you need to keep moving, while eating too much will lead to cramping. Look for the right snacks that contain both protein and carbs to give you the sustained energy you need during your run. Remember that timing is important too - cramming down a whole meal ten minutes before a run is rarely a good idea.