Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Becoming a better runner isn’t just about running faster times, it’s about creating a lifelong, healthy habit that makes you feel more alive and fulfilled. Find enjoyment in your running by slowing down, connecting with others and giving back.
- Create a bedtime routine. The better you sleep the more you can run and the better you will recover. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by creating a routine around bedtime. Maybe you spend time reading or drink a cup of soothing tea. Even if you’re not a morning runner find a way to unwind and unplug before getting to bed early, will help your running and overall health.
- Run easy runs without a GPS watch. If you’ve run a weekend race or a midweek interval workout allow your body to recover with easy running. Ditch the watch and allow your body to set the pace. Often, we get focused on seeing certain paces on our watches and forget to listen to our bodies.
- Run with others. The camaraderie of a running group or team can serve as accountability and motivation. It can sometimes be intimidating to join a group with runners faster than yourself, but the majority of runners are kindhearted people who are willing to share what they know. Surround yourself with people who love to run and you’ll see yourself improve.
- Take care of yourself. If your body is cranky and things are sore or tight, take the time to deal with them. Regular chiropractic care and massages can be helpful. Seeing a physical therapist at the first onset of discomfort can go a long way in injury prevention.
- Give back. You can be fiercely competitive and still be a kind soul. Find ways to encourage other runners—you can support the local running community by volunteering at a race or consider giving back with your running by fundraising. Encouraging other runners can foster gratitude in yourself for the sport you love and will only help you improve as a runner.