5 surprising secrets to running success

How to be a better runner

Kitchen tools and friendly rivalries are just two of the surprising things that could help you to achieve running success. Find out what else might help you reach running perfection here.

Woman running and running secrets

Buy a slow cooker

Who knew that a kitchen appliance could improve your running performance so much? Well, it can. It is suggested that you eat a substantial meal two hours after your run and ideally this meal will contain some tasty slow release carbohydrates and some protein. However, once you have got back off your run you need to cool down, stretch, take a shower, clean your running shoes and put your kit in the wash. You also need to rehydrate and probably talk to the people you live with at some point.

After doing all of this you’re probably starving and preparing a nutritious meal within two hours of your run looks like a less achievable goal.  However, a slow cooker will solve this issue as you can prepare the dish before your run and tuck into once home and showered. Also many slow cooker recipes combine a good amount of the slow release carbohydrates and protein that you need after a run. 

Find a rival

Runners who race regularly might start to recognize a few familiar faces, especially when those faces cross the race line just before them or have been hot on their heels for half the race course. These runners might eventually become your running rivals. Although having a running rival may sound like a bad thing, it can actually do you and your running performance a world of good. You see, if you have a running rival you can think about them when you are struggling to get out of bed or if you’re tempted to skip another training session. Thinking about what your running rival might be doing whilst you’re sleeping in late or slobbing out on the sofa will spur you on and you’ll find that the amount of training session you skip soon dwindles and will boost your motivation.

Sports massage

If you haven’t booked yourself in for a sports massage yet, why not? The technique masseurs use in sports massages causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products and encourages the runner's muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients, which aid recovery. A sports massage also relaxes muscles, helps with your flexibility and improves circulation.

You should think about getting a sports massage on a regular basis if you run regularly. They are also very useful after a big race, like a marathon. However, avoid sports massages the day before a big race as this could make you tired, lethargic or sore and will negatively impact on your race.

Think about the work you have put in

Mental attitude plays a huge role in running and if you start to lose belief in yourself you can kiss goodbye to a good performance. In order to maintain a positive attitude, remind yourself of all of the hard work you have put in to running. Think about those early morning starts, those lunchtime runs, or think about all of the hours you’ve trained at the gym. By doing this you will feel prepared, strong and determined. You won’t want to waste all of this training and you will remind yourself that you can do this and that you deserve to do this well. 

Don’t make your long run too hard

Most serious runners do one long run a week and on that run many people push themselves too hard and often don’t complete it. To keep your long run comfortable, try not to exert yourself to a point where you could not hold a flowing conversation. To stick to this rule you could train with someone, whether they run with you or cycle beside you. Or, if you run somewhere where you can use headphones safely, you could always try singing softly to yourself whenever you feel like you might be overstretching yourself. Although you might look a little odd at times, singing will help you to maintain a pace that will allow you to complete your long run comfortably.   

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