Seven essential tips for improving your running

Do you want to run faster and reduce your risk of injury? Focus, cadence and impact reduction are just some of the areas to look at

Female triathlete out running (image: Jonny Gawler)

Time and pace aren’t the only things athletes should keep track of during run training. Here are seven essential tips on how to improve your run game, cut PBs and reduce the risk of injury…


Think like the Road Runner

Focus on what’s happening behind you, rather than gripping the ground and pulling it back. This’ll improve hip extension and push-off drive.

Cadence, cadence, cadence

A great way to monitor this is to use a foot pod linked to your GPS – this gives you real-time feedback, which is especially useful when you’re fatigued, as this is when cadence can easily drop off.

Walk it down

Incorporate short walk breaks regularly into your runs, especially when you’re fatigued and always in long runs. This gives your nervous system time to take a break and will refresh your technique afterward. This not only reduces injury risk, but also helps in learning better technique, without any reduced aerobic benefits. Walk about 30secs every 10mins and stretch if you’re feeling tight.

Activation exercises

Do some core and gluteal exercises before you head out the door to wake the correct muscles up and get them ready to work.

Impact reduction

Always look for soft surfaces, even if they’re a bit uneven. The soft surface reduces impact forces and the uneven ground means you’ll be more careful about foot placement, resulting in better technique and awareness.

Gait analysis

Have an experienced coach or physio to look at and analyse your run technique. This way you can identify what you’re doing wrong and how to develop it.

Develop a plan

If you’re looking to improve or reduce injuries, sit back and develop a plan of what and how you’re going to change. Otherwise you’ll be likely to get the same results or injuries this season.

(Main image: Jonny Gawler)


For lots more advice on improving your running head to our Training section