Become a better runner in no time with these five ways to improve your running right now! Get more helpful posts from this weeks Running Coaches Corner and join the link up!
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Five Ways to Improve Your Running Right Now
We are a bit far into the summer training season to be implementing big picture changes that will have a positive impact on our current running and any upcoming races. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your running RIGHT NOW in such a way that will have major dividends for you in the next few months as well.
Give Your Muscles a Proper Warm Up and Recovery
I include a proper warm up in all of my clients plans, and I discuss glute activation with all of them. But before you even get to the warm up and dynamic stretches, I like my runners to start with self myofascial release (aka foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball) to release and prep the muscles. I prefer for them to start with foam rolling and simple sun salutations to get limbered up, and then a warm up at a very easy pace, dynamic stretches and activations, and then their workout. If you don’t have enough time, at the very, very least do your activations and start with a gentle run and then dynamic stretches.
Prevent Injury with Prehab Exercises that Target Your Glutes and Core
I take prehab very seriously! Last week, I delved deep into runner specific unilateral glute and core exercises, and everyone who subscribes to my Coach Suz Letter automatically gets access to favorite hip and ankle strengthening exercises and glute activation drills. It is never too late to start strengthening and activating those muscles–the glutes are the major drivers for all runners, and not only strengthening them but also learning to activate the glutes will help prevent injury particularly on long runs.
Meanwhile, a strong core holds you together–literally! And a strong core is more than just abs! You need to work the entire core, from transverse abdominis to obliques to lower back. Get that core involved, and you will see MAJOR results, and also prevent injury!
GO TO SLEEP
Seriously. Sleep is, in my opinion, as necessary as the prehab exercises or the warm up or cool down. Sleep preps you for the next day and help you recover from the previous one. Sleep is where champions are made. You can quote me on that. So get some sleep. Prioritize it.
Do a Nutritional Audit with a Food Journal
And if you don’t know what you are looking at/for, get someone who does! There is a great deal of nutritional information out there, but your best bet is to go with a Registered Dietitian. That said, there are several principles that are generally agreed upon by experts around the world: a diverse, colorful diet filled with whole grains, lean proteins (whether plant or animal based), healthy fats, low in added sugars, and consisting as much as possible of whole foods.
Every one has different needs and a their own unique perfect diet, and it might take some time to discover what that is. But write down everything that you have eaten over the past few days, and if you aren’t getting multiple servings of unadulterated vegetables (sorry, California, pizza doesn’t count) every day, if you are having more than one convenience food from a package every time that you eat, if you are consuming a diet full of chemicals rather than ingredients… well, I can tell you where to start.What can YOU do to improve your running right now? Coach Suz explains #runchat #fitflential Click To Tweet
Do a Training Audit with A Training Log
Are you just not seeing any results? Look at the scope of your training, not just the day to day. Like with the food journal, sometimes we just need to see everything together to realize that the story isn’t making since. You might have too many, or too few, workout days in there. You might not be doing enough cross training, or you might be doing too much cross training and not enough running. You might even need to take a day off from running, or even exercise in general, and just let your body take a break. Or it might be time to get serious.
Like with your food journal and talking to an RD, it might be time to ask an expert! A running coach will give you the individualized attention that you need to make changes now that will drastically improve your running, both short term and long term. (Wondering what a running coach does?)
Interested? Let’s talk training–you don’t have to be training for a race, or even have major mileage. I have worked with runners from ultramarathoners to runners just coming back to running after a long hiatus. If you are interested in getting after those health, fitness, and running goals, I would love to talk to you! Check out my coaching page or send me an email at coachsuztraining (Gmail)
I am also linking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for Friday Five. and Ilka and Angela for Food and Fitness Sunday.