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7 Tips to Become a Better Runner and Make a Career in Athletics

Many people join the athletic world mainly for fun and fitness. However, as you gain experience, becoming a better and faster runner sets in. With a good approach and attitude, it’s only a matter of time before you become perfect at the activity. Unfortunately, you don’t need to churn out miles and miles to become a better runner.

So, what does it take to become one? Becoming a magical runner like Usain Bolt of Jamaica or Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya requires the best training techniques. Aspiring athletes must incorporate these techniques into their running regimes to perfect their game. As many performance coaches would confirm, here are seven tips to help you become a better runner and make a shining career in athletics.

timing running racewhat does it take to become a better runner?

How to Become a Better Runner

It all starts in the mind. Before you hit the gym, you should develop an athlete’s attitude, which is crucial. Even after hitting the gym or the training ground, you can still take 10-14 days off, but your attitude should remain intact. The point is to maintain that “winning mentality” even if you’re off session.

Maintaining focus can help you stay in the spirit of an athlete. Engaging professional trainers, such as Chicago Athletic Clubs, is equally important to advise on the frequency and what you need to do during training. Here are top tips for upcoming runners: 

1. Not Missing Gym Sessions

Strength training is the building block of any running regime. This technique is helpful, especially to upcoming athletes who have reached a stage where they are looking for marginal gains and how they can knock several minutes off their PB; strength and conditioning are among the best ways to become better and faster runners. 

Can you take time off the gym? As mentioned, yes, you can take some time off during training. According to experts such as CAC, the body needs recovery, or you can suffer from overtraining syndrome (OTS). The condition can cause joint pain, fatigue, and poor sleep quality. 

During gym training for athletes, trainees learn how to resist impact through weight training. This skill can help them reduce their chances of injury and improve their efficiency in running. 

2. Consistency in Training

Professional trainers advise runners to observe their training plans and determine their consistency levels. This technique is important because if, as a trainee, you don’t remain consistent, you have fewer chances of achieving long-term success. 

For instance, being consistent for one week and stopping for some weeks is dangerous for your training life. First, you can’t effectively judge your fitness level; second, it affects your improvement cycle. 

Therefore, as an aspiring athlete, you should check whether you’re running consistently. According to experts, you should do this twice, thrice, or four times a week. After consistency, you can focus on becoming a faster runner. 

3. Putting Your Body in the Mood of a Faster Runner

After doing steady runs for some time, you can reach a state of little or no growth or decline. You simply hit a stable level of achievement. You should adapt your training and set higher, intense goals for your body to overcome the situation. You can achieve this by exposing your legs and body and adopting interval training, including tempo, hill sprints, or fartlek runs. 

For instance, you can take a progressive 400-meter interval to set the track. In this technique, you run the first three 400-meter intervals at a 10,000 pace, the next three 400-meter intervals at a 5000 pace, and three 400-meter intervals at a mile pace. The last three 400-meter intervals are done at under a mile speed. This method has worked for many athletes, and many experts recommend it. 

4. Finding a Favorite Pre-Workout Meal

Most runners discover their ideal diet through trial and error. But it’s more important to figure it out as early as possible. New athletes often make the mistake of not eating anything before working out. This habit can make them miss the fuel to keep them going. 

Pre-run diets vary from person to person. Some health experts recommend granary toast. Alternatively, take a bagel with peanut butter topping and a banana. It’s not good to feel heavy during running sessions, digesting the food can take a while. Sometimes, even a slice of bread is enough; then, you can have a heavy breakfast post-run. 

5. Being Flexible With the Training Plan

Athlete trainees need to understand their bodies and know their limitations. They should recognize when they’ve had a rough day and if they experience other stressors that can impact their performance. This can help them remain versatile and adapt their training plans based on their feelings. 

When flexible, it’s easy to align your training with your situation. Perhaps you can postpone the high-intensity interval session for a few days. A smart runner listens to his/her body instead of smashing their way through a training session. 

6. Picking Running Gear Carefully

Running coaches always preach about looking at the 1% marginal gains. Sometimes, even wearing a sweat-wicking t-shirt can suddenly knock 15 minutes off a trainee’s 5K time. Sometimes it doesn't. The most important thing to know is whether a gear can knock off a minute or two in long-distance performance. 

Some coaches advise trainers to alternate between two pairs of running shoes: one for track and tempo sessions and another for any other run between thirty minutes and an hour. Choosing running gear carefully can contribute to your performance and efficiency. 

7. Having the Patience to Get Better

Most good training programs incorporate a blend of strength training, speed exercises, mobility workouts, running techniques, interval training, and long-distance running. This mixture is beautiful because each day feels new and specific. 

Consequently, you can see your calendar full of activities and daily goals. This differs from having one dull session of, say, running three miles a day for a whole month.

Any smart training program is developed out of careful thought and planning. As a trainee, you should have the patience to improve yourself. The finish line should not distract you from your day-to-day routine. Instead, it would be best if you learned to trust the process because your trainers designed it to work. 

Final Words

Overall, becoming a better runner doesn’t happen overnight. Upcoming athletes need the patience to improve themselves and the discipline to undergo the training. Regardless of the goal or the distance they intend to run, aspiring runners can benefit greatly from the tips in this post.

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