How to Be a Better, More Gung-Ho Runner
So you started a running routine—and even stuck with it through four seasons of weird weather. Way to go, you! But now that you’ve got the basics down, are you looking to set a new PR or demolish (ok, survive) your first marathon? That’s where Matt Taylor—founder of the retro-cool running gear line Tracksmith, former Yale athlete, and man who logs miles every single day—comes in. He has five tips to help you pick up the pace.
1. GIVE IT THE TIME OF DAY
“My wife and I trade off on who gets the first morning run, which ensures that we can both squeeze in some training and keep an eye on the kids before the day gets crazy. We’re also fans of the lunchtime run here at Tracksmith. Other members of the team swear by the run commute, getting their mileage in on the way home. Working it into your routine will help you get the practice you need to improve.”
2. FIND YOUR DREAM TEAM
“I love running as a team, and it’s part of why I started this business. It can be as simple as finding a partner to help get you out the door in the morning. Or, there are hundreds of run clubs, and using an online program is an option. Having a workout schedule and a group for accountability makes a huge motivational difference. One option is to visit your local running shop—if they don't have a running group of their own, they'll be able to point you in the right direction."
3. TAKE THE SHOW ON THE ROAD
“Or I’ll ask our own Hare AC Strava Club members to send recommendations. The Strava app is a great way to scope out the best routes in a city when you are traveling. You can use it to search for popular local running segments. Runners are really proud of their favorite routes, and it’s helpful for surfacing insider tips, like where to get the best post-run coffee. Nick Willis' Miler Method is my current online training tool, which keeps me accountable. Otherwise, I'm still a bit of a purist - I prefer my Timex Ironman to a GPS watch. ”
4. ELIMINATE THE COMMITMENT ISSUES
“Running a 5k or 10k can be done off some pretty low mileage, but committing to a full or half marathon means more serious and consistent training. You have to add weekly mileage slowly, but the biggest change is to start upping the days you’re running first and then adding more miles each day. My biggest tip? Pick a race four to six months out, and sign up for it. Sometimes the only way to get started is by jumping in feet first.”
5. CHEER YOURSELF ON—AND CHEERS YOURSELF, TOO
“Building up your mileage slowly will keep you from getting discouraged, and celebrating the small victories will keep you motivated for the bigger goal. For me, beer is the best reward. There’s nothing more refreshing after a long run than a good, hoppy beer, especially as the temperatures rise. My favorite is the Newburyport Melt Away Session IPA.”