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10 Easy Ways You May Not Know Which Make You Run Faster

10 Easy Ways You May Not Know Which Make You Run Faster

Do you want to run faster? You can build up natural speed from running over time, but there are other ways to improve your time and distance.
Check out 10 simple tips to help speed up your performance.

1. Fuel Your Body

Most people know that food gives you energy, and it is important to harness that energy before you go for a run. Stick to carbs and protein; carbs will help to fuel your muscles, and the protein will help to build them up and make them stronger.

Check out some healthy and tasty snacks that have specifically designed as a pre-run snack.

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2. Drink Coffee Before You Work Out

If you need an energy boost, try to drink coffee about an hour before you start your workout. This will help to improve your endurance, helping to to build up your speed and stamina. Another option is beet juice, which may help improve oxygen flow in your body.

It is worth noting that studies have shown that over two-thirds of Olympic athletes use caffeine before exercising to improve their performance.

3. Cool Down After Your Workout

Your exercise routine shouldn’t be over until you have spent some time doing cool down stretches. This will help to relieve muscle tightness, so your body is prepared and ready for next time you run. There are lots of different types of stretches that you can do after your run, so try a few out and choose a routine that works best for you and your body.

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4. Use A Foam Roll After Running

If you run regularly you may notice that your leg muscles often feel tight and sore. Using a foam roll after a workout to massage your muscles will help to loosen them up and remove the tight feeling while you run. Check out some different exercises you can do using a foam roll.

5. Do Yoga

Most people believe yoga is good for the body, but it can be particularly beneficial to runners. Regular yoga helps to relax your muscles and shoulders, relieve back pain and open up any tightness in your hip.

6. Practise Prehab

If you run regularly, it is important to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent running injuries. Warming up and stretching are great ways to do this, but there are also specific exercises that you can do to protect areas that are injury prone, such as your ankles and knees.

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7. Stretch To Run Faster

There are actually stretches that can help you to become a faster runner. They will also help to improve your overall flexibility and strength over time, so add them to the wind down exercises you do after your run.

8. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to a successful run. Without enough sleep, you can lack energy and may find yourself feeling sluggish during your run. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to make sure you are on top form for when you exercise. Experts also say lucid dreaming could help you to run faster, although many people are unable to control lucid dreaming.

9. Cross Train For Strength

Cross training can help to improve your core, quads and upper body, improving your overall body strength. Studies have shown that riding a stationary bicycle can improve speed for runners, so it is worth adding cycling to your workout routine.

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Check out some great cross training exercises for runners.

10. Make Sure You Are Hydrated

If you exercise regularly, keeping hydrated is key. If you run when you’re thirsty, you may encounter muscle cramps and fatigue. Make sure you  always carry water with you, even when you’re not working out to make sure you are well hydrated when you exercise.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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