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Running isn’t known for Being Easy. Even people who have been running for years can struggle sometimes. Of course, the more you run the easier it’ll get, but setting personal records or pushing yourself a bit further is always going to be challenging. No two runs are the same, and even the fittest people can find it a little tough to get through a few miles on a bad day.
So what are the Best ways to make Running Easier?
1 Set Achievable Goals
If telling yourself to run a 5k makes you want to not even set foot out of the door, set yourself mini distance goals throughout your run. Tell yourself to run to the next pedestrian crossing, or to a certain building in your eyeline. You could also set these goals by telling yourself you only have to run for 10 minutes, or 5, or 1, or even 30 seconds.
When you hit these goals, you can take short walking breaks. With each goal you hit you’ll feel a sense of achievement, which will keep you motivated throughout your run.
It’s important to be flexible too. If you set out to do a six mile run but you can’t manage more than 4, trust your mind and body and give yourself a break. This and Regularly Changing your route can Stop Running from feeling like a chore.
2 Your Warm up is Everything
It’s surprisingly easy to skip a warm up even though they’re so important. They can seem like a waste of time, but they help you start your run on the right foot and get the most out of it. Getting your Blood Pumping and muscles warm will not only make the first part of your run feel a lot easier, but will also reduce the risk of injury.
5-10 minute dynamic warm ups will help the most. Try to include movements that stretch the muscles you’ll predominantly be using, like lunges.
3 Don’t forget to use your Core
Engaging your core and running with good form is a great way to make running feel Easier. Focus on being light on your feet and pull yourself up from the top of your head so your spine is in a comfortable, straight position. Engage your core to minimize movement of your chest from side to side so that you’re not wasting energy and you’re always driving forward!
4 Breathe, Breathe, Breathe
Of course, breathing comes naturally to us all. But that doesn’t mean that you’re breathing in a way that helps make running easier. Taking deep, controlled breaths can stop you from getting out of breath so quickly and help your run feel more controlled and pleasant.
If you find that your stamina is low and you struggle to catch your breath when running, Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) will help you. IMT exercises the inspiratory muscles (the muscles you use when you breathe in) to help reduce fatigue and improve your overall strength and stamina.
The experts at POWERbreathe have developed an IMT tool with a wide range of applications that can help anyone from a first time runner to a professional athlete. They have also been recommended by the World Health Organisation as a way to improve breathing ability and build up stamina after having COVID-19.
Visit the POWERbreathe website for more information and to find out what IMT could do for you.
5 Consider Strength Training
Even if you’re an avid runner, running shouldn’t be your only form of exercise. Strength training – either with added weight or just your body weight – will make running easier in the long term. You can either alternate days you run with days you do strength training, or insert strength and interval training into your run. You can do this by running a mile and then pausing to do squats and pushups whilst your heart is racing, or by running up and down stairs.
6 Enjoy it!
Running shouldn’t be a chore! Following all these tips should help running feel easier and more fun, but attitude is everything. If you go into a run convinced you’re going to hate it then you won’t have a great time. Put mind over matter and have a happy run!