- Take the first five minutes of your run to warm up. Go a little slower to work out the kinks and mentally prepare for your run.
- Learn to breathe deeply to maximize your oxygen input.
- If you're trying to run at a certain speed, use music to set your pace.
- Run with someone faster than you to push you to increase your speed or distance. It could be a workout buddy, a stranger on the treadmill at the gym, or that runner just up the trail from you.
- Run faster up hills by focusing on the top of the hill, not your feet. It'll help open your airways, and when it's easier to breathe, it's easier to run.
- Raise the incline on the treadmill to increase your calorie burn. A five percent incline will burn almost 100 more calories, so pump it up!
- Switch up your route or workout every time you run to keep your muscles guessing and to beat boredom; run your outside loop backward.
- Don't run every day. Vary your cardio to prevent overuse injuries and to strengthen other muscles.
- Work on your running form to avoid pain or injuries.
- To avoid injury when increasing your mileage, follow the 10 percent rule: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of the previous week.
- On longer runs, aim to have a negative split. The second half of your run should be faster than the first to avoid bonking and to finish strong.
- Running outside not only boosts your mood, but the uneven terrain, especially when trail running, requires more balance, agility, and coordination, which makes your muscles work harder.
- Don't skip the cooldown — it preps your body for your next workout! Do this postrun stretching sequence to target the hips, hamstrings, and lower back.