27 Ways to Run Better
Eat a healthy breakfast. We can't emphasize this one enough. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it fuels you for the entire day. To skip breakfast or eat a skimpy one is like failing to rehydrate and refuel after a marathon. You wouldn't do that, would you? Well, your night's sleep is like a marathon to your body, because you don't get any fuel while you're sleeping. So carbo-load at breakfast. And add a little protein.
Get cozy with frozen vegetables. This isn't a nutrition tip. It's an injury-prevention tip. If London Marathon winner Paula Radcliffe can take ice baths after a hard race, you can stand a bag of frozen peas against your sore knees for 15 minutes. Nothing reduces inflammation and holds injuries at bay like ice. Result: You stick to your training program. Don't like veggies? Fruit works, too. Try a small bag of frozen blueberries or strawberries. Or one of the many commercial ice wraps, often with handy Velcro straps. (You can find a good one at www.contourpak.com.)
Find a coach. Maybe the kind who yells at you every once in a while. (But probably not.) Point being, a coach's first job is to motivate you in a way no one else can. Second job: To lay out your training program. Third job: To prevent you from straying from the program, probably by running too much or too fast. You can find a coach by asking around, calling running stores, and checking the Internet.
Join the "X" revolution. Despite the many proven benefits of cross-training, we still know too many runners who only run. C'mon, folks. We love running, too. We know all about the "specificity-of-training" rule, but we still skip the occasional running workout to get in some cross-training. Mainly strength training, bicycling, elliptical training, yoga, stairclimbing, pool running, rowing, and walking. Why? Not because we think these routines will make us faster in our next half-marathon, but because they make us fitter and less prone to injury.
By Runner's World editors