How to get more benefits out of running

Running is a sport that is accessible to many people. From park runs to marathons, there are plenty of ways to push yourself and compete at higher and higher levels. However, there are other benefits you can get from running, some of which are not as well known as you might think.

Be flexible in your plan

It’s easy to become discouraged if your running plan doesn’t turn out exactly the way you want it to. But things will go wrong, and you will face self-doubt and stress because the carefully prepared plan is going south.

Stop, and take a breath. Running doesn’t go according to plan. That training session you wanted to get in before the race? Cancelled. The perfect summer day for running you’ve been looking forward to all week? It’s just begun to rain heavily. There are many variables that can come into a runner's life and the worst thing you can do is get frustrated or down about it. Adapt and change what you do. You’ll still get to where you need to be.

Get over your bad runs

You will have bad runs, and you’ll have bad races too. Remember that running isn’t just about physical exercise, it’s also about mental exercise too. So getting over your ten bad runs so you’re ready to go full out when you hit your flow make a huge difference.

By all means change your plan and focus on what needs to be done, but don't let your thinking become obsessive. You will get back to the right flow, it might take more time than you thought it would, or it might take a few minutes. Whatever, as long as you remember that you’ll end up having plenty of good runs alongside your bad runs.

Include rest periods

When you first start running, you’ll have advice that covers rest days. This Is good advice, and it will help you to recover as your body starts to get used to running for prolonged periods of time. This is vitally important stuff, and the beginner runner who doesn’t heed the ‘rest rule’ is bound to suffer injury very quickly.

However, the real problem is that more experienced runners treat that rest advice as something that only applies to beginners. Getting more out of running is about a number of things, and rest is one of them. Our bodies need to repair and replenish. We can't do that while we're pounding  pavement. Rest as much as you need to. You don't have to run every day, and it makes much more sense in the long term if you don’t.

Check the scenery

If you ever find that runs are becoming a little ‘samey’, try and change the scenery a little. While dirt track runs can be amazingly good fun, interspersing them with some road work means that you keep the interest levels up high. It’s well worth thinking about this,especially when you see scenery fatigue creeping in.

Change the pace

There are many, many different paces to set when you’re running. But one of the best ways to get more out of running is to change your pace on a regular basis. For one, it shows you how to manage the stressful conditions of a race. When things get tough you have to change your pace or fail.

PhysicalSimon B