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8 Tweaks to Make Running Easier

Running is an activity you either love or hate. It's either the activity you put up with or look forward to — often a bit of both at the same time! It's one of the best forms of cardiovascular activity but also a high-impact exercise that can take a toll on your joints. However, it's great if your goal is to get fit and in shape.

The good news: running doesn't have to be as difficult as it seems! Here are a few tweaks to make running easier for you.

Engage Your Core

A simple trick, but it can make all the difference! Engaging your abs muscles can take the strain off your back and reduce the movement of your upper body. This will help to reduce energy expenditure (every movement of your chest uses energy) and place all the focus on the movement of your legs.

Do Something New

Nothing is more boring than running the same route every day week after week, month after month. Time to switch things up and keep your workout fresh! A bit of variety will be just the thing to keep you motivated and challenged.

Break it Down

Don't envision yourself running the entire 5K or 10K at once, but work in bits and pieces. Tell yourself you're going to reach one marker, then take a break to walk or jog slowly. Break the run down into shorter distances you can more easily cover. This "achievement of your goals" will keep you motivated and running harder.

Have a Coffee

A bit of caffeine can give you the boost needed to get you over that finish line. You don't need a full cup — just a powerful shot of espresso (sans sugar or milk) will give you an infusion of caffeine without filling your stomach with liquid. Caffeine can delay muscle fatigue onset, reduce pain, and improve circulation.

Listen to Your Body

If you're feeling achy and sore, don't push yourself too hard. If you're feeling light and limber, open it up and pour on the speed. The more you run, the easier it will be to listen to your body and find the right pace and distance to run.

Be Comfortable

Nothing ruins a run faster than discomfort from your shoes, pants, underwear, bra, or shirt. You need to wear clothing that is comfortable, loose, and flowing, which allows for good ventilation (or warmth, depending on the climate).

Distract Yourself

If you spend the entire run thinking about how tired you are, you'll feel tired. If you're thinking about something else — the awesome song you're listening to, the audiobook you're enjoying, or your mind is simply wandering — the pain and fatigue will fade into the background. Distract yourself and you can run a lot farther!

Just Run!

Stop checking your watch, heart rate monitor, or pedometer. Stop worrying about how far you've run or how much you have left to complete. Just focus on running, putting one foot in front of the other and keeping that breathing steady and controlled. The more you fret, the more likely you are to feel the fatigue.

A few simple tricks, but they can help you to go a lot farther and make the running a whole lot easier!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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