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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

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

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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