10 Expert Tips to Get Super Fit Super Quick With Running
Running is an excellent way to get fit and lose weight. No matter what your current fitness level is you can start running today to lose weight, tone up and get in shape!
Running does wonders for your mind and body, that’s a fact. Proving you take care to avoid injury and eat well running will help you burn calories, shed fat, build muscle, tighten up and feel great!
Running is such a powerful way to get fit because it burns so many calories and works so many different parts of the body all at the same time. Think about it, to run your entire body is engaged not just your legs, your entire body needs to work together perfectly.
Whether you are a beginner with running or more experienced the expert tips in this guide will help you to maximise the health benefits from running and avoid injury.
If you have any health concerns or encounter any pain or issues when running you should always speak with your doctor and take professional advice. For most people running is perfectly safe but always seek professional medical advice if you have health concerns or encounter any problems when exercising.
Good luck with your running and with your health and fitness goals. I hope you take some benefit from the tips in this article. Wishing you and those you love health, wealth and happiness!
1. Always Warm Up
Don’t be so keen to get running that you skip your warmups. Warming up properly is just as important as the running itself and will not only help you perform better, but will also help ensure you avoid injury.
If you drive your car everywhere at full speed and don’t let the engine warm up you will over time do some serious damage to it. Your body is the same, you need to get it in the best state to perform by allowing it to warm up.
So take some time to stretch and move around a little to get your joints, tendons and muscles ready for what is about to come. You may even want to consider a short jog before you begin your main run.
If this all sounds a bit too much then as a minimum do some stretching and start your run slow, increasing your pace as you go. Don’t go straight off the blocks at full speed unless you are an experienced runner. Starting way to fast is the way so many people pick up injuries running.
2. Avoid Injury
It’s vital to avoid injury at all costs. Running can get you super fit, super quick but you can’t run at all if you are injured.
It’s so important that you follow step one and warm up appropriately then gradually build pace when you run. As tempting as it can be to push on through pain it’s important to recognise the difference between perseverance and hurting yourself with exercise.
Your body will tell you when you are pushing it a little too hard and the pain will be recognisably different. It’s important to listen to what your body is telling you and react accordingly.
If you are injured you can’t train so it’s much better to listen to your body. The number one goal on every run needs to be to avoid injury, this will enable you to keep running and get all the health benefits from doing this.
3. Set Goals
It’s important to set clear goals for your running and have a plan. This might be going for a run for 15 minutes three times a week, it could be anything but to achieve your running or overall fitness goals you need to first define what these are.
Take some time to define what you would like to achieve from your running and put this on paper, hold yourself to your plan and keep your goal under review. If you are new to this kind of planning and goal setting then read my article How to Achieve Anything which will guide you through the process.
4. Track your Performance
There is no greater way to boost your motivation than to see results and feel yourself getting stronger and fitter. I strongly recommend that you track your performance and progress.
A great way to track progress is to keep a record of your run times, distances covered and track your weight. There are so many different ways you can track progress and they really do help keep you engaged and motivated with the plan.
A smartwatch or activity tracker can help you understand your performance in real time and can take away some of the hassle of recording this information. If you are serious about running and exercise it is probably worth you investing in a suitable smartwatch.
Do some research before you buy. Not all smartwatches are well suited to running but some have premium features such as GPS and real time heart rate monitoring that make them ideal for runners. For more on how to buy the perfect smartwatch and for my breakdown of the top watches see my Smartwatch Buyers Guide.
5. Remember Your Why
If you have read my article how to achieve anything you will be familiar with this point.
When you are setting out to achieve anything hard it’s important to know why you are doing it and have a vision for your future that drives and motivates you. If you are new to running or an experienced runner remembering the why will help you achieve your fitness goals.
When you are getting up at 4:00AM for a run your dedication and resilience to achieve your goal will be tested. You need have a vision for your future that motivates you to sacrifice and push through.
It’s easy to go for a run when you want to, but when it’s cold, dark and raining you might well find you would rather not go. We all know that mental conversation where we start to talk ourselves out of doing what we need to do – “it makes sense to miss today”, “one day won’t matter” and so on. Once this starts the whole plan can soon be gone.
It’s in these difficult moments where the why can sustain your commitment. This might be a vision for your future that inspires you such as being fit enough to play sports with your kids. It could be anything but if you are not energised when you think of your why you need to think again. Your why should inspire you.
Your why could be anything but it’s important to understand this upfront. If your why is meaningful enough for you it can sustain your motivation to achieve your objectives in your darkest most challenging moments.
6. Eat Well
There is not much point training super hard if you are not going to eat well. Eating well doesn’t mean cutting out the fun or not eating anything that tastes nice. Eating well is about eating food that nourishes your body and replenishes you.
You can still enjoy treats and eat delicious tasting food every day, eating well is more about eating real food rather than processed rubbish. You could run twice a day but if you are living on processed food you will never see results.
Give the microwave a rest and make your meals from scratch using real ingredients. You never know you might even enjoy it!
Many of the world’s most successful athletes have been quoted as saying their results are down to diet as much and if not more than exercise. Eating food that nourishes your body is incredibly powerful.
7. Get Rest
Your body needs time to recover after exercise so rest is absolutely vital to get the best results and avoid injury. As stated earlier in the guide running can get you super fit, super quick but you can’t run if you are injured.
Ensure that you have enough recovery time between runs and if you feel some discomfort listen to your body and adjust what you are doing, this might mean reducing distance or pace or even having an extra day or so for recovery.
Getting adequate rest between runs in absolutely essential as is ensuring you get enough sleep. Sleep is when your body does a lot of its healing and recovery so getting up for a 4:00 AM run won’t work long-term if you are going to bed at mid-night.
Be conscious of how much rest you are getting and remember that the muscle growth doesn’t happen when you are exercising but when the muscle is recovering from the exercise. Without adequate recovery time you won’t see results.
8. Enjoy It
If you hate running it’s going to be crazy tough to stick to doing it on a regular basis. Try and enjoy what you are doing even if this means you don’t push as hard as you could.
I remember when I used to go nuts every time I went for a run. I was pushing way too hard like every run was a race, where I needed to go further and faster. Not only did this mean I was always getting injured over time it also made the thought of running pretty off-putting as I knew how hard it would be.
There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself hard but it’s difficult to sustain that pace everyday so don’t be afraid on days when you are not feeling it to just run. At the end of the day any run is better than no run so even if you go at a more comfortable pace that’s fine.
If you can keep your running fun you will keep running.
9. Stay Hydrated
Staying well hydrated is absolutely essential. You can’t perform at your best if you don’t have fuel in the tank. In this regard drinking well is even more important than eating well. You must ensure that you are properly hydrated to enable your body to perform at its best.
Exercising when dehydrated is not only very unhealthy it is flat out dangerous. When you run you will lose a lot of moisture through sweating as your body fights to regulate your body temperature. Your body will also use a lot of water in exercise to process fat reserves and keep you energised.
A car won’t run without gas in the tank and neither can you. Drink plenty of water before and after your run. If you are covering a long distance it is sensible to take on more water as you go.
10. Stay Energised
Enjoy a caffeine rich drink before you start your exercise. A shot of espresso is an excellence choice.
A shot of espresso shortly before beginning physical exercise can significantly enhance your performance. A key reason for this is because caffeine triggers the release of Adrenaline which puts the body in fight or flight mode limiting pain perception, increasing muscle contraction and boosting heart rate.
Espresso is the perfect way to get your caffeine hit as unlike other drinks containing caffeine espresso contains virtually no calories. Unsweetened and without cream an espresso shot contains approximately one calorie with virtually no carbs or fat.
The point above is really important as so many people drink an energy drink for their caffeine hit before or after exercise, these drinks are often so calorific that they completely negate the positive impact of the exercise.
Equally as relevant is that although caffeine is now common in many sugar free energy drinks, these do not have all of the other health benefits offered by espresso such as the huge dose of antioxidants.
You can find out more about the health benefits of drinking espresso in my article, Top Health Benefits of Espresso.
Thank you for reading. I hope that you found this guide helpful. You may also get some benefit from my article How to Achieve Anything.
Please feel free to share or comment on this article with your own running tips, also comment to let me know what your own running & health goals are and how you are going with these!
Wishing you and all those you love health, wealth and happiness!