Would you like to run faster?

Faster run times can lead to higher confidence and higher self-esteem. Having confidence before a race can lead to better performance.

When you’re training for a race, you’re usually running at the same pace and running for distance. By mixing up your training to run for speed, you’re breaking up the monotony of training.

You’re giving yourself a new goal to shoot for. Rather than aiming for just finishing, why not try to finish a race within a certain time?

If you’re training for your next 5K or marathon, keep reading for tips to improve your running time.

Set Your Running Goals

The starting line for running faster is setting your goals. You want to be sure that you follow the SMART goals outline to reach them. They are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Based

Your goals will depend on a number of factors, such as how long you’ve been running, your current fitness levels, and what you want to achieve.

For example, let’s say that you’re a beginner and you’re running your third 5K. You’re in decent shape and you just want to improve your time from previous races.

Take a look at your times from those previous races and see what your average pace per mile was. Then, set a goal to shave time off of that per mile pace. A good range is to shave a few seconds off of your run time to start.

Remember, you can always continue to improve that time.

When you’re setting a goal, it’s tempting to reach for the stars, like run a marathon fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. If that’s the case, then instead of having one goal, have one large goal (qualifying for Boston) and then have short-term goals underneath that.

You can set your qualifying race a year out, then plan benchmark races throughout the year to measure your progress. As you train for those races, you’re slowly building up your speed

By using this method, you’re setting yourself up for success and building up your confidence along the way.

Assess Your Starting Point

When you’re setting your goals, you need to assess where you are now. You can do so by taking a variety of self-assessment tests, like this one from the Mayo Clinic.

If you’re not comfortable taking the tests yourself, then you can work with a fitness coach or personal trainer to help you.

You’ll also want to track your current race time if you’re aiming to run faster during races.

Track Your Progress

It’s important to track your progress throughout training. You can take the self-assessment tests throughout your training.

You can then make adjustments to your training if need be.

5 Tips to Run Faster

Now that you have your goals set and know how to track your progress, it’s time to know how you can run faster.

1. Interval Training

You can shake up your training by adding interval training to your training regimen.

Interval training can help you build strength and improve your cardio, which can help you run faster.

Plus, there are a bunch of fitness apps you can play with to help you with your workouts.

Kettlebell training has been proven to improve cardiovascular health and overall endurance. The better your endurance, the easier it is to improve your pace.

2. Improve Your Flexibility

If you want to run faster, you need to be an efficient runner. The better you move, the better your form and more efficient you become. That will lead to a faster pace.

One way to do that is to stretch regularly or take yoga classes.

If you sit all day, your hips are tight, your calves are probably tight and your glutes are weak. That can throw your hips out of whack, causing them to rotate forward.

That can lead to lower back problems and knee issues, or cause injuries keeping you from running.

3. Head for the Hills

One way to run faster is to run up hills. Hill repeats are painful to do sometimes. They build mental strength to survive any challenge during a race.

They’ve also been proven to build leg power by using different types of muscle fibers in your legs.

4. Nutrition & Supplementation

To be an efficient runner, you need to be able to burn fuel.

You can improve your run time by making modifications to your diet and nutrition. If you lose weight, that’s less stress on your joints.

You’ll also want to be sure that you are hydrated not just during training, but during the entire day.

Many runners turn to supplements to eat well on a hectic schedule. Before you turn to supplements, you’ll want to know if there are any side effects.

That’s especially true if you’re currently taking medications. Some medications can affect your heart rate and your metabolism.

For example, the side effects of Narcan can impact your body and you may not know it.

Before you start your program, check with your doctor to make sure you’re clear to run.

5. Get Plenty of Rest

This may seem counterintuitive but getting the right amount of rest plays a vital role in performance.

Your body needs time to recover to rejuvenate, repair itself from the damage the muscles endure during training.

The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

Getting the right amount of sleep helps your mind stay focused and sharp, which leads to improved performance.

Lack of sleep can lead to moodiness and irritability, poor food choices, and injuries. There’s a correlation between the amount of sleep you get and injuries.

Not only do you need to sleep well, you need to take days off from training. There are many factors to know how many rest days you need, such as your age, training experience, and previous injuries.

If you’re just starting out, shoot for training 3 days a week. As you become more advanced, than you can bump up to 4 and then 5 days a week.

Run Faster in Your Next Race

Whether you’re a novice runner or a veteran with thousands of miles under your belt, you always want to improve your run times.

When you have a plan and stay committed to that plan, you can improve your speed and endurance.

That can result in more confidence, better performance, and ultimately, better race times.

If you’d like more health and fitness tips, check out this article on The 7 Rules for Health and Fitness.

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6 Most Useful Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Starting a business – and being successful at it – requires the right amount of talent, knowledge and skills. You must have the knowledge about your industry, about general business principles, as well as about the laws and regulations that affect your operation.

Additionally, you must have nerves of steel and a heavy dose of patience to take chances and navigate the ups and downs that come with any new venture.

Although success often requires you to have ambition and clear goals, it also requires a certain set of personal skills. Here you will read about six useful skills that entrepreneurs need on their way to success.

1. Ability to listen

Great communicators make great businesspeople. In the business world, you must establish rapport with partners and suppliers. You also need to be there for your employees.

Of course, in order to succeed, you need to commit to customer service excellence, which involves hearing what your customers have to say. All these types of interaction involve one common skill – the ability to listen.

Without the capacity to interact with other people, you will have difficulty getting your new business off the ground. If you have little practice with interpersonal relationships, don’t lose hope.

By learning how to listen, you take one of the best shortcuts available on the path to becoming a great communicator.

When people have something to say, never interrupt them. People often have feelings, opinions, and interests that differ from yours, but if you learn to hear them out, you can quickly win people over.

As you listen attentively, notice the non-verbal cues that contribute to the conversation. When you intentionally communicate with customers and other people through listening, you gain their trust, loyalty, and admiration.

2. Assertiveness and confidence

Though listening skills are undeniably important, that doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet. Quite the contrary, being a good businessperson implies believing in yourself and being able to speak your mind with confidence. After all, communication goes two ways.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you will often find yourself in situations that require assertiveness. Whether you are dealing with a pushy business partner or a demanding employee, you should never let others dictate your actions.

So, when you need to express your opinion – even if it includes disagreeing with the other party – try to do it assertively and confidently.

Take a deep breath, and articulate your thoughts. Sometimes it might seem overwhelming, as if you are on the verge of a conflict, but eventually you will learn to relax and project self-assurance. You will also gain the trust and respect of those around you.

3. Willingness to Learn

Being a businessperson requires an ongoing willingness to learn. Even after building a successful business, you have not finished your job. In fact, when it comes to learning and improving, you are never quite finished.

Continuous learning will help you evolve both personally and professionally. An insatiable appetite for learning through the Internet, books, documentaries, and seminars will deepen your knowledge and help you maintain your creative edge.

You should also remember to stay up-to-date with all the relevant development in your industry. Pay attention to trends and issues that affect your line of business and learn from the people who have already succeeded in businesses similar to yours.

Talk to industry leaders to get their advice, and apply their insight to your own business. Whatever you do, make learning an ongoing process both in your personal and professional life.

4. Creativity 

When it comes to keeping your business fresh and competitive, creativity is an essential skill. To innovate, you need to be creative. Being creative means doing things differently and thinking not only outside the box but also without that box!

This goes for both your personal life and business. In fact, those two are interconnected – when you spark creativity in your personal life, it will inevitably reflect on your business. So, what can you do?

What you can do is shake up your routine by trying new ways of doing things. Even small changes such as rearranging your office, driving home via a new route, ordering an unusual meal and talking to strangers can help you develop habits that can lead to innovation.

You should also attempt to think about things from new perspectives and apply new ways of solving problems. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in terms of your business growth, so do everything you can not to stifle it with convention and routine.

5. Courage and risk taking 

Entrepreneurs take risks, and you will surely find yourself in situations that require quick and risky decision making. You should never act recklessly, but you should always have the courage to try new ideas and to take little risks. If you don’t try, you will not succeed – it is that simple.

People are often held back by the fear of failure. Rather than fearing failure, embrace it. Sometimes the best experiences in business come from ideas that didn’t work.

Follow your creativity by implementing new ideas and making bold decisions even when you lack clear direction. As an entrepreneur, you should have the guts to take chances and have faith. As John Burroughs once said, “Leap, and the net will appear.”

6. Perseverance 

Last but not least, entrepreneurs must never give up. Remember this – never give up! There will be numerous obstacles and challenges along your way, but if you persevere in spite of them, you will reap success.

Sometimes this means having to accept failure. Even when your failures are expensive and embarrassing, they can still lead to success. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and look for lessons you can learn from every seemingly negative experience.

As a business owner, you must also develop patience. Success usually does not come overnight, and setbacks do not magically resolve themselves. In the face of adversity, maintain optimism. When you believe in yourself and persevere, you become a prime candidate for success.

Difficulties along the road to entrepreneurial success can seem discouraging. However, if you regard every situation as a learning experience, you can develop the much needed personal skills that will help you build a successful business when you combine them with your expert knowledge.

Begin with the six useful skills listed here, and look for other tips for personal and professional growth along your pathway to success. Most importantly, remember to always improve and challenge yourself – there is no success for those who stand still.

Author bio: Natalie Smith, a freelance writer from Seattle, follows topics related to entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, social media, and business in general. You can reach her @Natalie Smith

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