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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.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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