Become a better runner

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It’s almost summer, which means it’s time to pull the bikinis, shorts and halter tops out of storage — a scary thought, we know. Having just experienced Milwaukee’s 10th coldest winter on record, the thought of running outside seems daunting and almost foreign. But we all know a treadmill workout doesn’t provide the same, firm backside as a long, hilly run to Lake Michigan. While you’re adjusting to the warm weather, make sure to stick to these running tips to get the most out of your workout:

  1. Make sure the shoe fits — If you’re planning on trekking major miles, invest in a decent pair of running shoes. Avoid athletic wear giants and venture to a local, independent running store, such as Rogan’s Shoes in Greenfield, to talk to a professional about your stride. They’ll be able to provide you with the right shoe for your unique running style, which will result in longer runs and fewer injuries.
  2. Start slow – Running doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so if you’re a beginner, make sure to take it easy the first few weeks. Start at a 10-minute mile pace and work your way down from there. If you’re training for a race, make sure to do so responsibly by sticking to a schedule that includes at least two days of rest. Remember the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare”? In case you forgot, the tortoise wins the race.
  3. Find a buddy – Recruit a friend to jog with you once or twice a week. Or better yet, start a running group. By doing this, you won’t feel as though your exercise routine is taking away from your social life. Plus, you’ll be more likely to stick to your running schedule if other people are depending on you.
  4. Track time, not miles – It’s completely normal to have “off” days when the very last thing you feel like doing is tying up your laces. To become a better runner, you don’t have to increase your mileage every time. In fact, you’ll burn off more fat by running the same, comfortable distance but at higher intensities.
  5. Zone out – It seems simple enough, but not thinking about running while you’re drenched in sweat, gasping for air, can be quite challenging. Put your ear buds in and let your mind wander to wherever it is you feel peace. Make a solid playlist and run until the very last song is over. Avoid telling yourself your legs are sore or that you need to stop. Just keep going and push yourself to the finish line.