Tips You Should Know if You Like to Run

Running is a very beneficial activity. Nevertheless, it requires certain physical, technical, and mental conditions. In this article, we’ll share useful tips if you like to run.
Tips You Should Know if You Like to Run

Last update: 27 January, 2021

The tips you should know if you like to run are related to training, proper running form, mental strength for moments of fatigue, and stretches that help prevent injuries.

It’s no surprise how important running has become in many people’s lives, as this activity can benefit health in many ways. Some of the advantages of running are that it tones the body, increases lung capacity, and is a good way to deal with stress.

Let’s take a look at some tips if you’d like to practice this sport.

Training tips and techniques if you like to run

Runners have to face two big enemies: injuries and fatigue. Despite this, they can take some measures to reduce the risk of the former and the direct incidence of the latter.

Prioritize appropriate running clothing and footwear

Firstly, you must give footwear the importance it deserves, as you don’t go running barefoot! Your sneakers need to be light, comfortable, and in good working condition (inside their lifespan). Therefore, experts recommend changing your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

In the case of clothing, it’s best to seek maximum comfort. Opt for light clothes that help keep your body at a good temperature. Thus, it’s important to have running clothes for every season of the year.

Reduce stride length

A good way to save energy while running is to reduce your stride length. This will make you make more of an effort with each step you take and increase leg endurance. A good way to know if you’re on the right track is to consider taking 180 steps per minute.

A woman running on the beach.
Your shoes and clothing play a key role when you’re running to prevent injury and provide comfort.

Keep your gaze up

You must keep your gaze on the horizon. In fact, avoiding looking to the sides makes long runs more bearable, due to the perception of space.

Divide the run into segments

Depending on the race you’re going to compete in, it’s best to divide your training sessions into several sections. This means that, if you’re preparing for a five-mile race, a one-mile warm-up could help prepare your muscles. Then, run for three miles at full speed and run the final mile a bit slower.

Keep your body hydrated

Lack of hydration is one of the main culprits behind decreased performance. To avoid it, you should drink between five and seven milliliters of water for every kilogram of weight four hours before training or a race. Later, two hours before the race, drink between three and five milliliters per kilogram of weight.

Finally, immediately before the training session or race, your body will need between 200 and 400 milliliters of water. In turn, experts recommend drinking water every 20 minutes during a race.

Mental toughness tips for runners

We just had to mention some tips to help you become a mentally stronger runner, as this will help you reach your potential. The mind can either be your greatest ally or your worst enemy in demanding physical activities.

Don’t be negative

When you don’t perform at your best during a race or you suffer an injury, it’s a good idea to change your perception of the problem. All you have to do is see the positive side of what happened and understand that it’s a great learning experience for the future.

Seek motivation

Searching and finding the right motivation to compete is the extra push every runner needs. When you find a good motivator, you’ll perceive the effort you’re making differently.

Unify the mind with the body

This involves learning to perceive, listen, and interpret your body’s signs while you’re running. Although it may seem strange, in one way or another, your body gives you clues about physical discomfort that announces a risk of injury or a certain practice that doesn’t favor performance.

Avoid making comparisons

The mind is capricious and tends to look for problems that don’t exist. Thus, making comparisons is negative when you’re trying to boost your self-confidence and performance in races. In fact, they can limit and frustrate you. For this reason, focus on yourself, your strengths, and what you’re capable of achieving.

Change up your internal monologue

Pay special attention to your internal monologue, because the way you talk to yourself and set goals can lead you to unwanted paths. For example, instead of saying, “I have to be…”, say “I want to be…”. This way, your brain will be focused on improvement, not demands or expectations.

Helpful stretching exercise tips if you like to run

To avoid injury, runners should stretch. There are two types of stretching: static and dynamic. Below, we’ll share a few options of each, as they’ll help you stretch all your muscles.

A couple stretching together before running.
Stretching is very important, as it can help avoid injuries and prevent complications that can affect performance.

Leg swings (dynamic)

For this stretch, stand with your feet parallel and apart. Then, lift one foot off the ground and make a semicircular clockwise movement. Finally, increase your speed and repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Experts recommend doing 18-20 repetitions of this exercise per leg.

Lunges (static)

Stand with your feet apart and diagonally outward. After that, bend your right knee and put some weight on the left. Do this while leaving your left leg fully stretched. After that, repeat this process with the other leg.

Experts advise doing three repetitions per leg.

Quadriceps stretch (static)

A classic stretch that’s perfect for runners. Firstly, keep your torso upright while holding your right foot with your right hand, making sure to bend your knee. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Finally, repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Short steps (dynamic)

As its name implies, it consists of taking short steps to the sides. You should take a step to the right with the right foot, followed by a step forward with the left foot.

Repeat, but this time take a step to the left with your left foot. For this stretch to be effective, you need to do it fast.

Hamstring stretch (static)

This is one of the best and most important stretches. To do it, firstly, sit on the floor with one leg stretched and the other in a half-butterfly position.

Next, move your torso forward to try to touch the tip of your foot, without bending your leg. It’s enough to hold this position for 30 seconds per leg.

This article may interest you: Jogging and Running: What’s the Difference?

Final tips if you like to run

We decided to end this article with a few recommendations that encompass both running form and the mind. Pay attention to the following:

  • Set individual goals and don’t torment yourself with comparisons.
  • Make sure to eat and hydrate your body properly before, during, and after the race.
  • Don’t over-stretch, as this can negatively affect your performance.
  • Use motivation as your main energy source.
  • Learn to listen to your body to avoid injuries.
  • Optimize your stride length to increase endurance.
  • Visualize your mind and body as one while you’re running.
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