Friday 5: 5 ways to step up your running game!

Happy, happy Fri-YAY friends! YAY for the weekend! Who all has big plans this weekend? Oh, and by big plans I mean, the kind that land you in front of your TV binging on Netflix and recovering from all of your December weekends being booked to the max with social events! Am I the only one? Naaahhhhh, surely not!

Today, is all about stepping up your running game in 2018! Who’s with me? I know that I’m ALWAYS trying to reach new goals with my speed in running and I know there are a few reasons as to why I haven’t reached some of those goals yet. The answer is strength training. Yep, it gets me EVERY TIME! Tell me to go run 5 miles every day and I’ll do it in a heart beat. But, then you tell me to go strength train for at least 30 minutes a few times a week and I’m no good. I have no idea why my brain works like that, but it does. I’m hoping to change that up this year though! I have had the lofty goal of a sub 2 half marathon now for quite a while, and I’m REALLY crossing all my fingers and toes that I’ll finally reach that within the next 12 months! Will I make it? Who knows, but I’m surely going to give it my all and try!

So, I thought while I’m preaching to myself about ways I can step up my strength training game on my own, I could share 5 ways for you to step up your running game too! We can lean on each other and grow stronger together in this!

Let’s do this!

Here are 5 ways you (and I, or we!) can step up our running game in 2018!

  • Add in multiple forms of cross-training!

This one is definitely a no-brainer for most, but it has to make my list for stepping up our game this year! You can add all kinds of different cross training to your weekly workout plans to help you grow muscles in different areas to up your running strength! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Swimming

  • Walking

  • Tennis

  • Strength training sessions with different weights or machines

  • Pilates

  • Cycling

  • Add yoga in at least 1-2 times per week!

Yoga has got to be one of my favorite forms of working out right next to running! It’s so insanely beneficial for not just our physical health, but our mental health too! The reminder to focus on my breathing lasts not just on the mat, but it goes off the mat when I finish too! This is also HUGE in helping me grow into a better and stronger runner! The flexibility is so helpful, but the focus on the breathing really makes a huge difference for me! There are so many different types of yoga to try to incorporate, but my favorite has got to be “Yoga with Adriene” for her at-home yoga programs! She even has a bunch of different Yoga for Runner’s videos! This video below is one of my very favorites!

  • Follow a plan!

Remember how I said I was starting to train for my next half marathon with a Hal Hidden plan? Yep, I’m starting up this week and there’s literally NOTHING to helps me stay on track better than having an actual schedule to follow each week! Not only does it keep me running, but it also helps me focus on the cross-training days more too! I’ve always been a huge fan of running plans but Hal Higdon’s just seem to work really great for me! They’re easy to follow and build up the mileage in the best of ways that works really well for my pace/running style! If you’ll follow a specific plan either off the internet or by your running coach, it’s guaranteed to help you step up your running game in no time!

  • Fuel properly before, during and after your runs!

Fueling property for your runs, before, during and after will make ALL the different in feeling like a better and stronger runner! I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve accidentally fueled up wrong and felt miserable the entire run (and even after)! If you do practice trials with fueling up the right way, it’s guaranteed to make race day 10,000 times better! Plus, when you’re fueling your body with the right foods and hydrating as best as you can, you can see all kinds of improvement from running to your overall well-being! I like to think of it as putting gas into your car. You know that you need the proper fuel for your gas to run smoothly, so you always get the best one you can when you fill up at the gas station! When you’re running low, you can even come to a screeching halt and have to find emergency help! Same for your running! Fuel up with the best “fuel” you can and you’re guaranteed to see major improvements with your running!

  • Listen to your body and learn to rest when you need it!

Last, is definitely learning to listen to you body and what it’s telling you. There are days when you will no doubt want to skip your workouts. But, there’ll also be days when your body is screaming at you to rest! I am a FIRM believer in rest days because I feel like I run my best when my legs are fresh and recovered as much as possible between workouts. Sometimes this can mean taking a few more days off than anticipated, depending on how I’m feeling overall or not! But, listening to what your body is telling you and how it’s running is going to help you become the best runner you can be! Treat your body well and fingers crossed it will treat you well in return, right? Right!

*A last little bonus I want to throw in is to add foam rolling to your daily routine! Foam rolling does wonders for our bodies and can be a huge factor when it comes to staying injury free! Grab yourself one like this one and you’ll be good to go to foam roll our heart out, or legs I should say! 😉

Here’s hoping we can all have the best running year yet! I’ll be taking my own advice here and try to add in a little of each of these every single week to hopefully reach that sub 2 half marathon goal of mine really soon!

I hope you guys have a fantastic rest of your Friday!! Enjoy every minute of it and try to stay warm wherever you are!!

Questions for YOU today: (Comment below with your thoughts!)

What is your favorite form of cross-training?

Are you big into strength training?

Random, but what is your favorite coffee creamer? I’m looking for a new creamer and would love to hear what your favorite kind is! Share away!!

Link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!

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