Whether you are a new runner, or have an array of race bibs tacked to your wall, there are a few key steps to running that will help make you stronger, faster and more motivated.

Run Regular

The more you run the easier it will be.  It’s a no-brainer.  Find a time that you can run at least three times a week.  It doesn’t have to be a long run but it should be the same mileage each time.  This will not only create stamina with your body but your mind as well.  If you run regularly your brain becomes able and motivated to run those same lengths and will push you and your body to do longer runs.

Go, Girl, Go

Speed work is the best way to become a faster runner.  You can do this a few ways.

  1. Sprinting bursts don’t just burn more calories, they build strength and create real endurance and speed. You can go from a 14-minute mile to a ten doing bursts during a run. Or you can break the 10-minute barrier if you are already in that zone and get even faster. Include five rounds of one-minute sprinting bursts with recovery time after each round. You’ll see a difference in your run times in just a few weeks.
  2. Hills sometimes feel like they can make or break a run. They do. Challenge yourself with a new hill in your running path or increase the incline if you run on a treadmill. It will burn, you will feel out of breath but you will also feel invigorated and be stronger each time you knock that hill out. On your next run your brain will be trained to kick that hill in the butt for a second round.

Post-Injury

Injuries happen, but getting back into running is still a game of mind over matter. Your body is healed but your brain might still be telling you to take it slow, take a while longer to recover, and don’t run for so long. Get over it!  Pre-set how long you plan to spend on your run. It can be five minutes or twenty. Your body and brain need to meld here and work together. Your cardio ability will still be there in a greater capacity than you think and your body can handle a straight run in five, fifteen or twenty minutes increments. When you are done, your body and brain will thank you. Motivation for that next run will be there too.