15 Steps to Becoming a Runner

15 Steps to Becoming a Runner

Ever wanted to be a runner but didn’t know how to start? We’ve rounded up 15 beginner running tips to help you start strong and stick with it. If you’ve ever been discouraged by how hard running seems| then read our tips for going from walker to runner without a hitch.

| Invest in Shoes

It’s extremely important to find the right running shoes for your body; otherwise you’ll be prone to running injuries that will derail even your best intentions. Don’t pick based on style or color; go to a reputable running shoe store to get a professional gait analysis and recommendations; keep these If You Don’t Run but Want to| This Guide Is For You

| Be Prepared

As with any workout| you need the right gear to help you stay comfortable| safe| and happy while you run. Planning for a run takes a little bit of forethought u2014 when to go| what to eat| and what to wear should be part of your daily running checklist. Keep sweat-wicking running clothes clean and ready to go| and check the weather so you know what to expect if you’ve planned a run that day. You’ll also need to plan your meals so you’re not running when you’re too full or when you’re starving.

| Start Slow

Don’t expect to be 5K-ready as soon as you begin your new running hobby. At the beginning| running for even a minute without stopping can be hard u2014 which can discourage even the most enthusiastic new runner. Keep your expectations realistic| and move at your own pace| walking when you need to. This eight-week walking-running plan will help you be able to run continuously for 30 minutes by the end.

| Warm Up| Cool Down

Every run should begin and end with a few minutes to prime and soothe your body. Start each run with a slow jog before your ramp up your speed| and before you hit the shower make sure you do a few of these An 8-Week Plan to Make You a Runner

| Fuel Up

Feed those leg muscles with the right post-workout snack; it’ll ensure that you’re helping your muscles build and repair themselves. After every run| make sure you eat a snack or meal that’s high in carbs and protein| and ensure that you drink enough water after your run (as well as throughout the day).

| Know Your Terms

Do you know how to fartlek? Are you an over- or under-pronator? Make like you’re a marathoning pro by talking shop with the best of them. These 10 terms every runner should know will help you understand your new hobby.

| Vary It Up

Once you’re able to run for 30 minutes without stopping| it’s time to step up to the next level. You shouldn’t run the same route at the same pace all the time; doing so will increase boredom and can lead to workout u2014 and weight-loss u2014 plateaus. Keep your workout varied by alternating routes| mixing treadmill time with outdoor runs| and incorporating intervals to keep things interesting and turn you into a bona fide runner. These treadmill interval workouts are a great place to start.

| Increase Mileage Slowly

Now that running feels easier for you| you’re probably ready to go for a longer run. Make sure you adhere to the 10 percent rule| however; ramping up your mileage too fast will cause overuse injuries like runner’s knee or Achilles heel issues. Instead| increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent of the previous week’s total.

| Make Goals

Like any workout plan| it helps to have goals to keep you motivated. You’ll be more likely to stick with your running routine if you make a realistic goal| like signing up for a race. Even if you run to lose weight| don’t make that the entire reason you run u2014 doing so could cause you to become discouraged if you aren’t seeing results fast enough. No matter what your racing goal| find out how to train for your first race here.

| Go Outside

If your entire running career has been spent on the treadmill| then it’s time to transition outside. Outdoor running makes you a better runner| because the varied terrain strengthens different muscles than just treadmill running alone. Note| however| that running outside is harder than on a treadmill| so be prepared by reading our tips on how to safely transition to an outdoor run.

| Stay Safe

No matter where you choose to run| think about your safety first. This is especially true if you run outdoors without a buddy. Pay attention to traffic| tell a loved one where and when you are going| and wear reflective clothing and a head lamp if you are heading out at night. You should also learn how to tie your running shoes correctly so you won’t trip over loose laces; this ingenious double knot ensures your laces stay put while still being easy to untie when you’re done.

| Fix Your Form

Noticing that your running form is far from perfect? Working on better posture and alignment while you run can help prevent overuse injuries. Keep your form in mind when you run u2014 relax your neck| raise your knees| engage your abs| and keep your arms parallel to the ground as you stride. Read more of our running-form tips here.

| Strategize

Once you’ve gotten used to running| it’s time to work on running strategies that will make you a faster| better runner. Here are some strategies you should work into your running routine; aim for one of these strategies during most of your runs during the week.

  • Sprinting intervals: Mix up your workout by sprinting at one-minute intervals; you’ll help increase your speed and endurance
  • Tempo runs: These are runs where you run slightly faster than you’re used to (but slower than a sprint); this helps you become a faster runner. Learn how to do tempo runs here.
  • Hill work: Go ahead u2014 find an incline. Running up a hill is an amazing way to increase your endurance and become a faster runner.

| Cross-Train

If you want to become a better runner| then you’re going to have to do more than run. Cross-train with other complementary workouts to strengthen muscles that running neglects. This yoga sequence for runners| for example| will help you stretch and strengthen. Aim to do some sort of strength-training workout twice a week.

| Stick With It

There’s no secret to becoming a runner; it’s just a matter of sticking with your workout. Once you’ve followed our tips to build your endurance| speed| and running confidence| don’t undo your hard work with an extended bout on the couch. Schedule your runs every week so you’ll be sure to do them. And when someone asks you if you’re a runner| remember to proudly say| “”Yes!””

If You Don’t Run but Want to, This Guide Is For You

Running is a great way to get in shape since you can do it almost anywhere, and signing up for a 5K is one of the best ways to ensure you stick to your new workout goals. If you’re new to running, however, there’s nothing worse than slipping on your brand-new sneakers and setting out full speed, only to be out of breath a mere minute later. Staying motivated and encouraged is an important part of learning to love your new hobby, so whether you’re more used to the couch than the treadmill or you’ve been on a long running hiatus, use these tips to help you run continuously and with confidence.

Related: An 8-Week Plan to Make You a Runner

    Check with your doc: If you’ve never run before, it’s important to make sure that there aren’t any underlying conditions that will make it unsafe for you to start. Schedule a physical and go over your plans for running with your doctor so she can sign off or give you any recommendations regarding exercise.Don’t just buy any shoe: There are tons of cute sneakers out there, but just because a pair has your favorite color combination doesn’t mean it’s right for your foot. Instead of blindly shopping online for what looks the best, take time to go to a specialty running-shoe store to get your gait analyzed. They’ll also measure your foot to get the right size, since sometimes running-shoe sizes need to be bigger than your normal shoe size. Even if you don’t buy from the shoe store, you’ll know which brands and what kind of shoe to look for elsewhere.Sign up for a short race: If you’re new to running, you should find a beginner-friendly race that’ll keep you accountable and help you chart your progress. Fun runs like The Color Run and 5Ks are perfect ways to get excited about running and having a good time while you’re at it.Have a plan: If you’ve signed up for a 5K, be sure to also find a beginner’s 5K plan (like the our six-week 5K training plan) that will ease you into running. If you just want to be able to run for 30 minutes straight, this eight-week beginner running plan is made for you.Walk it out: If you’ve never run or it’s been awhile, you’re going to have to work your way up to a sustained jog. So instead of overexerting yourself straining to run a mile, start out with smaller goals, like running nonstop for one to five minutes and then walking a little until you catch your breath.Stick to a schedule: If you’re serious about becoming a runner, practice makes perfect. Running won’t get easier unless you are consistent. Try to fit in at least three runs a week to see improvements before you know it.Go with a friend: A friend with a similar or slightly faster pace can help you push yourself as you get better at your hobby. Plus, starting a new exercise routine with someone who’s similarly motivated will keep you accountable on those days you just want to skip. If your friends aren’t as enthusiastic about running as you are, keep an eye out for beginner running clubs at shoe stores, gyms, or your local community center.Stretch after every run: Many aches and pains can be prevented with a little prehab. To keep your muscles from being tight, make sure you stretch after every run with these cooldown stretches in order to help with muscle soreness and to loosen tight areas that can pull your joints and cause injury.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

If You Don’t Run but Want to, This Guide Is For You

Running is a great way to get in shape since you can do it almost anywhere| and signing up for a 5K is one of the best ways to ensure you stick to your new workout goals. If you’re new to running| however| there’s nothing worse than slipping on your brand-new sneakers and setting out full speed| only to be out of breath a mere minute later. Staying motivated and encouraged is an important part of learning to love your new hobby| so whether you’re more used to the couch than the treadmill or you’ve been on a long running hiatus| use these tips to help you run continuously and with confidence.

Related: An 8-Week Plan to Make You a Runner

    Check with your doc: If you’ve never run before| it’s important to make sure that there aren’t any underlying conditions that will make it unsafe for you to start. Schedule a physical and go over your plans for running with your doctor so she can sign off or give you any recommendations regarding exercise.Don’t just buy any shoe: There are tons of cute sneakers out there| but just because a pair has your favorite color combination doesn’t mean it’s right for your foot. Instead of blindly shopping online for what looks the best| take time to go to a specialty running-shoe store to get your gait analyzed. They’ll also measure your foot to get the right size| since sometimes running-shoe sizes need to be bigger than your normal shoe size. Even if you don’t buy from the shoe store| you’ll know which brands and what kind of shoe to look for elsewhere.Sign up for a short race: If you’re new to running| you should find a beginner-friendly race that’ll keep you accountable and help you chart your progress. Fun runs like The Color Run and 5Ks are perfect ways to get excited about running and having a good time while you’re at it.Have a plan: If you’ve signed up for a 5K| be sure to also find a beginner’s 5K plan (like the our six-week 5K training plan) that will ease you into running. If you just want to be able to run for 30 minutes straight| this eight-week beginner running plan is made for you.Walk it out: If you’ve never run or it’s been awhile| you’re going to have to work your way up to a sustained jog. So instead of overexerting yourself straining to run a mile| start out with smaller goals| like running nonstop for one to five minutes and then walking a little until you catch your breath.Stick to a schedule: If you’re serious about becoming a runner| practice makes perfect. Running won’t get easier unless you are consistent. Try to fit in at least three runs a week to see improvements before you know it.Go with a friend: A friend with a similar or slightly faster pace can help you push yourself as you get better at your hobby. Plus| starting a new exercise routine with someone who’s similarly motivated will keep you accountable on those days you just want to skip. If your friends aren’t as enthusiastic about running as you are| keep an eye out for beginner running clubs at shoe stores| gyms| or your local community center.Stretch after every run: Many aches and pains can be prevented with a little prehab. To keep your muscles from being tight| make sure you stretch after every run with these cooldown stretches in order to help with muscle soreness and to loosen tight areas that can pull your joints and cause injury.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

After Running For 15 Years, I Made This Change and Finally Lost My Belly

I started running after college to lose that Freshman 40 I was holding on to. I learned a lot along the way, like what socks prevent blisters and how to shop for a sports bra so you don’t have to wear two. But what I struggled with was losing weight, specifically belly fat. And after 15 years of running and experiencing two pregnancies, that still-pudgy pooch ¡ª although a sweet reminder that I was my kids’ first home ¡ª was always the thing I pinched and poked when standing in front of a mirror.

So I signed up for a half-marathon. I was convinced that all those training runs would surely slim my middle, but when I stepped on the scale, I was completely wrong. I was gaining weight because the hunger that came with those long workouts made me want to eat all the time. After the race, although I made some changes to my eating schedule to lose the weight I’d gained during training, my squishy belly wasn’t budging, and it pissed me off. It wasn’t like I was going to run more often or for longer distances. It was quite by accident that I figured out how running could help me ditch my mummy tummy.

One morning, I skipped the hour-long flat road run and turned into the woods near my house. I let my dog, Reuben, off leash, and we just started running. My pace was much slower because the terrain was so unpredictable. Rain had eroded away the path, creating holes, plus the slippery wooden bridges, the rocks and logs to leap over, and the hills ¡ª man, were there hills! I was huffing and puffing way more than on my previous runs, and my quads, calves, and butt were burning. I had to swing my arms more to get up those steep inclines, and trying to catch up to my dog added a little fire to my step. At the end of my 20-minute run, I felt like I did after running two hours.

After just two weeks of running those trails and those crazy hills, I felt an incredible sense of strength in my legs I hadn’t experienced before in the 12 weeks I was training for the half. In the obstacle course that is the woods, my muscles were constantly guessing, since running in the woods is completely different than running on a sidewalk or a treadmill. It’s like a dance because there’s no monotony of movement. Every step is a little different, a little shift to one side or the other, a little shorter or longer than the one before.

Interval training had always seemed so forced when running through my neighborhood: I felt a little weird sprinting past my neighbor’s house, so I skipped them and just stuck to my 9:40 minute-per-mile pace. But the hills forced me to switch up my pace, and I knew this type of training would be the key to ditching my tummy. Running this way was also really challenging to my mind. I felt a complete sense of calm afterward that I wasn’t able to get to unless I did a long training run. Instant runner’s high in just 20 minutes? I was floored.

And the added perk? My belly looked slimmer. I could see definition in my obliques ¡ª I had obliques! By no means am I saying I have a six-pack after a month of running in the woods, but I see now that I was pushing myself in the wrong way. I was working harder, not smarter. If you’re struggling with a weight-loss plateau from running, the answer for you, too, might be found in the woods.

Image Sources: POPSUGAR Photography/Jenny Sugar and POPSUGAR Photography/Kat Borchart

After Running For 15 Years, I Made This Change and Finally Lost My Belly

I started running after college to lose that Freshman 40 I was holding on to. I learned a lot along the way| like what socks prevent blisters and how to shop for a sports bra so you don’t have to wear two. But what I struggled with was losing weight| specifically belly fat. And after 15 years of running and experiencing two pregnancies| that still-pudgy pooch ¡ª although a sweet reminder that I was my kids’ first home ¡ª was always the thing I pinched and poked when standing in front of a mirror.

So I signed up for a half-marathon. I was convinced that all those training runs would surely slim my middle| but when I stepped on the scale| I was completely wrong. I was gaining weight because the hunger that came with those long workouts made me want to eat all the time. After the race| although I made some changes to my eating schedule to lose the weight I’d gained during training| my squishy belly wasn’t budging| and it pissed me off. It wasn’t like I was going to run more often or for longer distances. It was quite by accident that I figured out how running could help me ditch my mummy tummy.

One morning| I skipped the hour-long flat road run and turned into the woods near my house. I let my dog| Reuben| off leash| and we just started running. My pace was much slower because the terrain was so unpredictable. Rain had eroded away the path| creating holes| plus the slippery wooden bridges| the rocks and logs to leap over| and the hills man| were there hills! I was huffing and puffing way more than on my previous runs| and my quads| calves| and butt were burning. I had to swing my arms more to get up those steep inclines| and trying to catch up to my dog added a little fire to my step. At the end of my 20-minute run| I felt like I did after running two hours.

After just two weeks of running those trails and those crazy hills| I felt an incredible sense of strength in my legs I hadn’t experienced before in the 12 weeks I was training for the half. In the obstacle course that is the woods| my muscles were constantly guessing| since running in the woods is completely different than running on a sidewalk or a treadmill. It’s like a dance because there’s no monotony of movement. Every step is a little different| a little shift to one side or the other| a little shorter or longer than the one before.

Interval training had always seemed so forced when running through my neighborhood: I felt a little weird sprinting past my neighbor’s house| so I skipped them and just stuck to my 9:40 minute-per-mile pace. But the hills forced me to switch up my pace| and I knew this type of training would be the key to ditching my tummy. Running this way was also really challenging to my mind. I felt a complete sense of calm afterward that I wasn’t able to get to unless I did a long training run. Instant runner’s high in just 20 minutes? I was floored.

And the added perk? My belly looked slimmer. I could see definition in my obliques ¡ª I had obliques! By no means am I saying I have a six-pack after a month of running in the woods| but I see now that I was pushing myself in the wrong way. I was working harder| not smarter. If you’re struggling with a weight-loss plateau from running| the answer for you| too| might be found in the woods.

Image Sources: POPSUGAR Photography/Jenny Sugar and POPSUGAR Photography/Kat Borchart

The 10 Biggest Running Mistakes You’re Making

Whether you’re new to running or have a few races under your belt, the way you run might be the reason you can’t seem to shake off those lead legs. Take a look at this checklist to be sure you aren’t holding yourself back with these running mistakes. Changing one of these bad habits may just be the key to your next easy, breezy run.

    You don’t switch your route: Same time, same route can make for a boring workout ¡ª and stats that don’t ever improve. Switching up your route will challenge different muscles, keep you motivated, and improve your running skills. Don’t stick to your tried-and-true trail; find a new running route with these tips.You don’t fuel right: You may be able to power through a short run without any food, but if you’re going long, you need fuel and water. Time your run so it’s two to three hours after a meal, or have a snack full of carbs and protein (like one of these pre-workout snacks) about 30 minutes to an hour before you go for a run. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water well before you step out; drinking too much right before you go can cause cramps.You don’t warm up: Starting your run at full force is not a good idea. You’ll feel sluggish, tight, and discouraged if you don’t warm up before that sprint. Do a light jog or five minutes of brisk walking before starting your actual run.You don’t cool down: You came, you conquered, you’re done with your run. Don’t stop now, however; you still need to take a few minutes to stretch your warmed muscles to help you recover. These postrun stretches will help increase your flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.You don’t check your form: Running may seem natural, but a few body adjustments can make a big difference, allowing you to run faster, longer, and more efficiently. Make a mental note to pay attention to your running form every once in a while; your shoulders should be relaxed and down, your arms should swing parallel to the ground (without crossing your midsection), and your head should be up and looking forward, not down. Get more tips on proper running form here.You don’t challenge yourself: If you want to be a better runner, you need to up your pace. Intervals and tempo runs help you increase your speed in the short term, so that in the long run, you become a faster, better runner.You run in the wrong gear: Sweat-soaked cotton shirts, shoes without enough support, and pants with chafing seams ¡ª all of these can cut a run short or at least make you not want to go out again. Invest in a few key pieces once you’ve upped your mileage; you’ll be surprised how much what you wear matters. Don’t worry, we’ve got you ¡ª check out our list of what not to wear when running here.You push yourself too hard: Challenging yourself is great, but doing too much too soon is a common cause of runner burnout, not to mention injuries. Start off slow and gradually increase your pace as you get more comfortable. Remember not to ramp up your mileage too quickly; increase your total by only 10 percent every week.Your strides are too long: It may feel good to bound down that trail, but if you make a habit of taking too-long strides, you may tire more quickly. Shorter strides are also easier on your knees, so if you find yourself going long, shorten your steps to see if it feels better.You’re not consistent: It’s not going to get easier unless you stick with it. Try to run three times a week if you want to become a better runner; you’ll be amazed at how much easier that three-miler seems after just a few weeks of running.

Related: If You’re Running and Can’t Lose That Belly, Try This

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

The 10 Biggest Running Mistakes You’re Making

Whether you’re new to running or have a few races under your belt| the way you run might be the reason you can’t seem to shake off those lead legs. Take a look at this checklist to be sure you aren’t holding yourself back with these running mistakes. Changing one of these bad habits may just be the key to your next easy| breezy run.

    You don’t switch your route: Same time| same route can make for a boring workout and stats that don’t ever improve. Switching up your route will challenge different muscles| keep you motivated| and improve your running skills. Don’t stick to your tried-and-true trail; find a new running route with these tips.You don’t fuel right: You may be able to power through a short run without any food| but if you’re going long| you need fuel and water. Time your run so it’s two to three hours after a meal| or have a snack full of carbs and protein (like one of these pre-workout snacks) about 30 minutes to an hour before you go for a run. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water well before you step out; drinking too much right before you go can cause cramps.You don’t warm up: Starting your run at full force is not a good idea. You’ll feel sluggish| tight| and discouraged if you don’t warm up before that sprint. Do a light jog or five minutes of brisk walking before starting your actual run.You don’t cool down: You came| you conquered| you’re done with your run. Don’t stop now| however; you still need to take a few minutes to stretch your warmed muscles to help you recover. These postrun stretches will help increase your flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.You don’t check your form: Running may seem natural| but a few body adjustments can make a big difference| allowing you to run faster| longer| and more efficiently. Make a mental note to pay attention to your running form every once in a while; your shoulders should be relaxed and down| your arms should swing parallel to the ground (without crossing your midsection)| and your head should be up and looking forward| not down. Get more tips on proper running form here.You don’t challenge yourself: If you want to be a better runner| you need to up your pace. Intervals and tempo runs help you increase your speed in the short term| so that in the long run| you become a faster| better runner.You run in the wrong gear: Sweat-soaked cotton shirts| shoes without enough support| and pants with chafing seams all of these can cut a run short or at least make you not want to go out again. Invest in a few key pieces once you’ve upped your mileage; you’ll be surprised how much what you wear matters. Don’t worry| we’ve got you check out our list of what not to wear when running here.You push yourself too hard: Challenging yourself is great| but doing too much too soon is a common cause of runner burnout| not to mention injuries. Start off slow and gradually increase your pace as you get more comfortable. Remember not to ramp up your mileage too quickly; increase your total by only 10 percent every week.Your strides are too long: It may feel good to bound down that trail| but if you make a habit of taking too-long strides| you may tire more quickly. Shorter strides are also easier on your knees| so if you find yourself going long| shorten your steps to see if it feels better.You’re not consistent: It’s not going to get easier unless you stick with it. Try to run three times a week if you want to become a better runner; you’ll be amazed at how much easier that three-miler seems after just a few weeks of running.

Related: If You’re Running and Can’t Lose That Belly| Try This

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

10 Tips That Will Make You a Better Runner

10 Tips That Will Make You a Better Runner

No matter what your running level| you can always be a better runner. Here are our favorite tips that we’ve used to become better runners over the years!

| Find Your Gait

Even if you’re new to running| you’ve probably heard about the great gait debate. Many people believe that midfoot running (or striking the ground with the midpoint of your foot first) is the best way to run without injury| while others say that heel- or toe-striking are better. New studies have even shown that experienced long-distance runners do best when they run the way that’s the most natural for them.

No matter how you choose to run| spend a few moments figuring out how you run; you’ll be able to understand all those running shoe terms| like whether you over- or underpronate| better. You can start by a running shoe store to have them analyze your gait and recommend shoes that are compatible.

| Warm Up

Seasoned runners will tell you u2014 there’s nothing fun about starting out full steam. Your muscles need time to warm up in order to prevent cramps| injuries| and that general sluggish feeling that can hamper a run. Whether you start each run with a slow jog or do these dynamic (not static!) warmup moves| get your muscles ready for your workout.

| Vary It Up

Feeling like your routine is getting monotonous isn’t a good reason to skip out| but it sure can make it hard for you to stick with it. Keep your running routine fun by varying your route| your playlists| and even your postrun reward.

| Know Your Terms

Like with any new hobby| as you delve more and more into running| you’re bound to come across some new terms you may not have heard about before. Experiencing DOMS? Want to know the best way to fartlek? Find out the definition of 10 common running terms here| and start speaking your newfound language.

| Recover Right

It’s not just body builders who need a protein-rich recovery u2014 after a sweaty run| you need to build those muscles too. Make sure your meal or snack is a mix of carbs and protein (go for a 4:1 ratio) to help muscles repair and replenish energy. This will help you become a better runner as you build stronger muscles. Here are a few convenient| healthy postrun snacks that give you exactly what you need. Don’t forget your pre-workout snack for energy as well.

| Add Strength Training

Save time and beat boredom by incorporating strength training and stretching into your running routine. Try running up some stairs to work your lower body| or add these park bench moves to wipe out any monotony.

| Sign Up For a Race

The best way to push yourself to be a better runner is to sign up for a race; keeping track of your results over time is an easy and pride-inducing way to see how much you’ve progressed. Ready to commit to a race? Read our tips on how to run a faster 5K and how to make the leap from a 10K to a half marathon.

If you want to go for the gold| then read these tips on how to prepare for a marathon from elite runner and Boston Marathon winner Sharon Cherop.

| Have a Long-Run Strategy

Once you’ve been running for a while| you may want to incorporate long runs into your normal routine. Before you set off| make sure you’re prepared with a strategy. You’ll need to invest in the right gear| drink more water| and slow down your pace. And don’t be afraid to walk if your muscles become fatigued. Check out more of our advice on long-distance running tips for beginners.

| Avoid Injury

Like with any exercise| a simple mistake while you’re running can keep you on the sidelines. Outdoor running especially can leave you prone to injury. Make sure you start out slow| wear shoes with a lot of grip| and take your GPS-equipped phone with you so you don’t get lost. Read more of our tips for staying safe and injury-free when you run outdoors.

| Learn to Tie Your Shoes

It’s not a joke u2014 this simple shoelace-tying technique will help your laces stay put on your next run. And unlike the traditional double-knotting method| this technique is easy to untie. Watch the video to learn this simple time-saver that will change your workout for the better! For more shoe-tying secrets that will actually make you a better runner| you need to watch this video that explains what that extra set of shoelace holes is all about.

How to Run For Weight-Loss Success

If your sole purpose for running is to lose weight, but you’re not seeing the results you’re after from all your hard work, that old saying, “Change or remain the same,” totally comes into play here. Mix things up by including these four types of runs in your weekly schedule and you’re sure to notice a difference.

Hill repeats: For this quick but intense 20-minute workout, find a hill that takes about 60 to 90 seconds to run up (about 1/8 of a mile). Run up the hill, then run back down, and repeat six to eight times, depending on the length and steepness of the hill. You can do this workout on a treadmill, but you might find it mentally easier to do outside since conquering an actual hill is really satisfying.Sprinting intervals: For this 30-minute workout, you’ll need to keep an eye on the clock. Run two minutes at a moderate pace (9- or 10-minute miles), then sprint for one minute at a fast pace (7- or 8-minute miles). Repeat this three-minute cycle 10 times. If this seems too hard and you need more time to recover between sprinting intervals, start off with this 45-minute walk-run-sprint workout instead. Fast runs: Running at a faster pace burns more calories, and the only way to prevent feeling like you’re about to collapse from pain and exhaustion is to practice running at a faster pace. If your usual pace is 9:30-minute miles, no need to jump to 7:30-minute miles. Go fast enough so that you feel like you’re pushing your comfort level, but are able to maintain it for three miles. This could mean going at a pace that’s 10 seconds faster. Start off small, and as your endurance builds, you can increase your speed.

Related: The Training You May Be Neglecting When You Shouldn’t

Long runs: Running longer also translates to more calories burned. So for this run, slow down your pace and go about two or three miles longer than normal (about 20 to 30 minutes extra). You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll build up endurance from just one longer run a week.

Along with these four different types of runs, be sure that at least one of them is on a different surface than you’re used to. If you always run on the sidewalk, hit up some dirt or woodsy trails. If the treadmill is your go-to surface, get outside and run on a track or on a sandy beach. Different surfaces and routes will challenge your muscles in new ways, making them work harder so you get stronger and burn more calories.

Related: Can You Believe This Woman Ran a Marathon and No One Knew About It?

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

How to Run For Weight-Loss Success

If your sole purpose for running is to lose weight| but you’re not seeing the results you’re after from all your hard work| that old saying| “Change or remain the same|” totally comes into play here. Mix things up by including these four types of runs in your weekly schedule and you’re sure to notice a difference.

Hill repeats: For this quick but intense 20-minute workout| find a hill that takes about 60 to 90 seconds to run up (about 1/8 of a mile). Run up the hill| then run back down| and repeat six to eight times| depending on the length and steepness of the hill. You can do this workout on a treadmill| but you might find it mentally easier to do outside since conquering an actual hill is really satisfying.Sprinting intervals: For this 30-minute workout| you’ll need to keep an eye on the clock. Run two minutes at a moderate pace (9- or 10-minute miles)| then sprint for one minute at a fast pace (7- or 8-minute miles). Repeat this three-minute cycle 10 times. If this seems too hard and you need more time to recover between sprinting intervals| start off with this 45-minute walk-run-sprint workout instead. Fast runs: Running at a faster pace burns more calories| and the only way to prevent feeling like you’re about to collapse from pain and exhaustion is to practice running at a faster pace. If your usual pace is 9:30-minute miles| no need to jump to 7:30-minute miles. Go fast enough so that you feel like you’re pushing your comfort level| but are able to maintain it for three miles. This could mean going at a pace that’s 10 seconds faster. Start off small| and as your endurance builds| you can increase your speed.

Related: The Training You May Be Neglecting When You Shouldn’t

Long runs: Running longer also translates to more calories burned. So for this run| slow down your pace and go about two or three miles longer than normal (about 20 to 30 minutes extra). You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll build up endurance from just one longer run a week.

Along with these four different types of runs| be sure that at least one of them is on a different surface than you’re used to. If you always run on the sidewalk| hit up some dirt or woodsy trails. If the treadmill is your go-to surface| get outside and run on a track or on a sandy beach. Different surfaces and routes will challenge your muscles in new ways| making them work harder so you get stronger and burn more calories.

Related: Can You Believe This Woman Ran a Marathon and No One Knew About It?

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell