Running is probably the first thing to come to people’s minds when someone mentions exercising. It is by far the easiest to do and it essentially requires no special equipment to perform. This is precisely why it is so popular among those who seek to become fit and improve their health. Running also strengthens the heart and increases life expectancy in those who practice it. However, many people do not only practice it for its health benefits; more and more people choose to become professional athletes. This is not an easy thing to do, as it requires a lot of determination, time, and focus. However, it is very useful to know how to approach your training, so here are some tips that will help you become a better professional runner.
Do not be afraid of hills
One of the biggest mistakes you could make in your training is running only on flat terrain. By running up or down a steep hill, you are getting a very intense exercise in a relatively short period. You cannot run as long on an incline, so these sessions need to be shorter. Even though they can be painful, they help you strengthen your leg and lower back muscles, and help you stabilize your blood pressure during a race. You should also try running downhill; it does not strain your muscles as much, but it requires you to put more focus on your feet placement to avoid injury, which in turn makes you more stable.
Run before you eat
Many runners first have breakfast before setting out for a run, which does provide them with the necessary energy for running, but running before your first meal of the day can also be beneficial. Our bodies work by spending the energy we extracted from food, and only when that energy is spent does it turn to the fat cells. By running before breakfast, you will allow your body to immediately use the stored fat as fuel, which not only helps your run go more smoothly but also helps you lose weight. However, if you are not used to fasting, you should be careful when first trying to run on an empty stomach.
Change your shoes regularly
When running, the shoes absorb a lot of force and friction to keep you as cushioned as possible during your run. Wearing them in various weather conditions only adds to the wear and tear that they experience, which is why you need to change them regularly so that you will be consistently protected and safe from injury. Even though they look like they might last a few more months, it is a good idea to replace them as soon as you notice some significant wear on them.
We all know about the importance of warming up, but warming down after a run is just as important. It will help you relax your muscles and make you less likely to be sore the next day. After finishing your exercise, continue running with reduced intensity for five to ten minutes to give your body time to adapt.