Are you a track runner? What are some things you can do this year to become a better track runner?
Set Obtainable Goals
For starters, come up with a main goal and some subgoals. You have to have a goal to shoot for if you’re going to get better. Furthermore, setting goals will inspire you to surpass your own expectations. Too often, runners get into a rut, doing the same thing over and over again. It can get boring. However, this year, decide what you want to achieve that you don’t think you can do– and then do it. Setting your mind on a goal is a very powerful thing– you cannot achieve something if you don’t believe you can do it. So, now is the time to pick something specific and “run with it.” For example, say you can currently run one mile in twenty minutes. This year, set the goal of running that mile in seventeen minutes. And if you make the goal, reward yourself!
Formulate a Plan
Next, when you set running goals, you’re going to need to make a plan to reach those goals. You might want to ask a more experienced runner or track coach for some sage advice. It’s important to give yourself some structure, rather than just “winging it.” That said, a written plan helps a lot. You can look at the calendar and see what you’re supposed to do on certain days to work toward achieving your goals. Maybe “the plan” to become a better runner involves working out three times a week at the gym for an hour at a time, along with trying one new healthy recipe per week. Even getting better sleep can help you achieve your fitness goals. For instance, resolve to go to bed at the same time every night, such that you get a good solid eight hours of sleep nightly. Also, resolve to always eat a nutrient-rich breakfast to start the day off right. Make lists and notes if you need to, in order to remember what you should do with regards to your overall plan.
Mix Things Up
In order to become a better runner, mix up your runs and give yourself some much needed variety. Tempo runs and mile repeats are good, as well as fast sprints. You can also do runs on various terrain, including up and down short hills. Meanwhile, emulate famous runners who’ve done great feats, like Usain Bolt. Picture yourself as him on the track. Indeed, whomever you admire as a runner– get to know more about them and start doing what they do, if you can, so you can improve. It’s always good to have a role model to look up to and aspire to be like.
Remember, it takes time to get better. It doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s okay. A lot of runners forget to warm up first before running, and that can be detrimental to their overall performance– and their physical well-being. Instead of running to warm-up, which many runners do, concentrate on stretching. You should be doing lateral movements and activating your muscles. Lunges work well.
Harness Your Craft
You’ve heard “Practice makes perfect?” This is true for runners! The more you practice, the better you can become. So, if you currently run once a week, add a day and do it twice a week. If you run five days a week, make it six. One “extra” day of running per week can go a long way in your development as a seasoned and ready-for-anything runner.
Wear the Right Shoes
By the way, how are your shoes serving you? For some runners who want to get better this year, a simple change of shoes can help. Try different shoes with regards to traction and even how heavy or light they are. For instance, light racing shoes work well for fast running. If you have the opportunity to visit a store that sells running shoes and you find yourself a knowledgeable salesman, pick their brain to figure out what could help you get that competitive edge you’re looking for.
Get Your Rest
While most runners think they must continually push themselves to be better, everyone should remember that taking time off from running is a very good thing. Your muscles and joints and such need proper time to recover after lots of exertion. In other words, don’t overdo it. It’s okay to take a week off from running after you’ve competed in a race.
Run on a Suitable Track
Finally, to become a better runner this year, running on a proper surface is important if you want to stay safe and maximize your performance. Classic Turf is a company that’s well-known and respected for its Classic Elastic Track. It’s a proven, all-weather resilient surface system that can expand and contract with the substrate. So, by design, it’s flexible when it needs to be. Furthermore, runners appreciate that this Classic Elastic Track surface is impermeable to water and allows for the upward pressure of water vapor and other gases to be released. Durable and consistent in quality, a track like this is perfect for serious track runners. For more information, please contact Classic Turf at 1-800-246-7951.