1. Run with others.
2. Try something new.
3. Run like a tortoise. This isn't a sport of instant success and miracle shortcuts. Patience pays off, often in a very big way.
4. Take a break.
5. Eat a healthy breakfast.
6. Get cozy with frozen vegetables.
7. Find a coach.
8. Mainly strength training, bicycling, elliptical training, yoga, stairclimbing, pool running, rowing, and walking. Why? Not because we think these routines will make us faster in our next half-marathon, but because they make us fitter and less prone to injury.
9. Keep a log. Your training log is a great source of the kind of motivation that builds consistency. It beckons to be filled in, reveals the secrets of your training and racing successes, and provides lots of inspirational quotes and useful tips. At least it does if you're using the new Runner's World Training Journal, available at www.rodalestore.com. Check it out.
10. Enter races. You don't have to race to be a serious runner, but, geez, there are so many good reasons to enter races. Jeff Galloway, RW columnist, says that entering races, especially marathons, "scares" people into training the way they should. That's a good one. But we also like the sense of community you get from races. They help you realize that you belong to something big, and that there are more people than you imagined who share your running and fitness goals. Besides, it's good to go for the burn every now and again.
11. Pay attention to your shoes. Some things should be obvious, and this is one of them. But it's worth repeating, if it keeps even one of you from getting injured. Most shoes wear out after 300 to 500 miles. You often can't see the wear, but, your knees, hips, back, and Achilles tendons know it. Give your old, worn shoes to a local Salvation Army or similar group, and get yourself to a running-specialty store for a new pair. (While you're there, buy some reflective gear. The days are getting shorter. Make sure you're visible on the road this winter.)
12. Run early. You want to get something done? Do it early in the day. Everything gets tougher later in the day when various tasks and responsibilities start ganging up on you. In a recent Runner's World Online survey, the two most popular workout times were 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.
13. Practice good posture. Not just when you're running, but all the time. This is especially important if you've got an office job, and are sitting at a computer all day (like us). Make sure your keyboard and monitor are properly positioned, and sit straight but comfortably in your chair. Some of us have recently started sitting on those large Swedish exercise balls, which encourages good posture because you have to use your legs and stomach muscles to keep from falling off. Good posture can improve your running efficiency and decrease injury risk. Ergo, better consistency.
14. Use the fridge. In two ways. First, be sure it's always stocked with those key foods you rely on for healthy nutrition and snacking: sports drinks, low-fat yogurt, fruit, nuts, carrots, etc. Take your pick. Second, put something inspirational on the outside of the fridge: a picture of you and friends at a race, a training plan, a great quote.
15. Schedule it. You've got your Microsoft Office calendar, your PDA, your Day Planner, your napkin with the scrawled list of stuff you absolutely, positively have to get done today. Be sure to write in your workout. Carve out an hour in your day. The experts all agree: Your exercise is one of your most important daily activities. Make it happen. The President of the United States exercises almost every day. You should, too.
16. Subscribe to our free e-mails. We send out several free e-mail newsletters each week, and they're guaranteed to inform and inspire you. Go to www.runnersworld.com/newsletters, where you can pick the one or the several newsletters that most appeals to you.
17. Get your clothes ready. And your shoes. Root through your closets and drawers the night before a morning run to select and organize the running gear you need. Another good trick: Have a complete bag of running gear (and a dry shirt and towel) always at the ready in the trunk of your car. You never know when you'll be able to use them.
18. Run on different surfaces. See how many different surfaces you can run on in a week: Asphalt, gravel, trail, grass, track, treadmill, beach. Each stresses your leg muscles in a slightly different way, helping to prevent overuse injuries. (If possible, avoid concrete, the hardest and least accommodating surface for runners.)
19. Take a trip. Reward your training and racing successes with a special running vacation. Take in an exotic international marathon; many runners have had good luck with a trusted provider, Marathon Tours (www.marathontour.com), which can offer guaranteed entry into those difficult-to-enter events. Or, organize your running partners into a relay team, and enter an exciting a
Answered By: Bee - 4/14/2010