How to progress in running? My key tips!


Whatever your level, wanting to progress in your sports performance is very important and is often one of our primary objectives. Only to raise your levelespecially in running, there are unfortunately no miracle cures: above all, you need rigor and patience.

On the other hand, I can give you some advice and some tips for run better and optimize your trainingwhile preserving the health of your joints.

Know your level (strengths/weaknesses)

First of all, it is essential to know your level to try to overcome it. Having a clear idea of ​​what one is capable of is necessary to set an achievable goal.

To determine your level, you will have to ask yourself several questions:

  • What is my physical condition? Are you a rather active person, or on the contrary, is running the way to reconcile yourself with sport?
  • Am I a beginner runner or am I used to jogging?
  • If running is not new, how long are my runs and their pace?
  • Finally, do you know your VMA (Maximum Aerobic Speed)? It allows you to have a more precise idea of ​​your abilities

Answering all these questions is the first step towards building a workout tailored to your abilities and goals.

Do not forget, improve in running is done over the long term, overestimating your abilities and setting inappropriate goals will only discourage you and be counterproductive.

Take your VMA test ! The Maximum Aerobic Value is an essential data in running when one aims to improve. She allows to set the ideal running paceadapted to his level.

To calculate it, there are many methods, such as the half cooper test which is very easy to set up, especially for beginners. The principle is simple:

  1. run for 6 min as fast as you can.
  2. Once the 6 minutes have elapsed, note the distance traveled (in meters),
  3. through a telephone for example, and divide it by 100.

Know your goal and source of motivation

Motivational goal for progress in running

Setting a goal is still the best way toprogress in running. It allows you to project yourself far into the discipline and to stay motivated on the long term. And for that, no need to put pressure on yourself.

It is with small daily personal victories that you will manage to go beyond your limits and achieve greater goals.

Expectations can be very different from person to person. Some will wonder how to run faster, others how to run longer or how to participate in a race or a trail? So no need to compare yourself to others or create an additional source of stress while waiting for unattainable results. Above all, running must be a pleasure and an personal stimulation to free yourself from the hassle of everyday life.

Set milestones and long-term goals

That’s it, you have determined your goals and you are ready to give everything to achieve them. For that, no secret, you will have to train, but not just anyhow. There is no point in drastically increasing the volume of your workouts or their frequency.

In the long term, this will not be sustainable for you and you will lose this pleasure factor which is essential for progress. Go step by step, gradually. Start by making a list of small steps that will serve the end goal.

For example, you can keep a small notebook in which you transcribe your distances and your times. It’s a good way to visualize your progress and what remains of the way to go to reach its objective. But beware ! You don’t have to enslave yourself to it.

Enjoy each of your victories and congratulate yourself for the work already done. It’s the best way to be proud of oneself and stay motivated, even when you have to run in the winter.

performance running program

Keep the right moves no matter what

Running is a fairly technical discipline that requires a lot of muscles. If everyone can run, not everyone can run well. Adopting the right gestures will not only allow prevent injuriesbut also improve your cardio and therefore, to progress more quickly. For this, it is important to pay attention to:

  • warming up
  • posture
  • Foot
  • The breath
  • Hydration
  • stretching

warming up

It is essential to prepare the body for the effort. It doesn’t have to be very long, between 4 and 10 minutes are enough. On the other hand, it must allow all your joints (knees, ankles, hips, etc.) to warm up to announce to the body the impacts it will undergo during training. The solicitation of the ankles, knees and the “pre-fatigue” of the buttocks are to be preferred.


Straight back, long neck and engaged abs, these are the secrets of a good running posture. If you are not careful, the biggest risks would be to increase the pressure on the back and the neck. Pain that we would do without!


The foot lands rather flat, just below the hips. The biggest problem for the majority of runners is the overlong stride, with the foot landing too far in front of the body. The landing is then done on the heel, brakes, and reflects shock waves in the ankle, knee and back. The work of the pose of the foot is essential if you want to run without hurting yourself.

0 drop shoes (no high heel) can help you if you agree to go little by little (1 to 2km per session over several weeks).

The breath

Open your lungs! To supply our muscles with enough oxygen, we need a lot of air. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth and be regular in stride


Whether it’s raining, it’s windy, it’s snowing or you’re not particularly thirsty, you stay hydrated! Hydration takes place before, during and after trainingand this on a regular basis


As abused as the warm-up, stretching is nevertheless essential to restore muscle flexibility and relax the joints. Generally, we do small ones at the end of the session and larger ones the next day, once the muscles have recovered from the effort.

Short stretch after run

LONG stretches after RUN

Rest to avoid overtraining

So no, overtraining will not help you reach your goals faster, quite the contrary.

The recovery phase is super important to give the muscle time to rebuild your fibers and above all, to assimilate the effort he has just received.

Despite what you might think, resting allows your muscles to strengthen and above all to adapt to the training you put them through. It is only on this condition that you progress. In addition, running with aches is to add an unnecessary additional difficulty.

  • Rest and long massages are the key words for a good recovery.

So if you’re new to running, forget the “I’m going to run every day”! Running twice a week for a start is perfect, especially if you stretch regularly (1 to 2 yoga or stretching sessions per week) and you also build muscle (renfo, pilates 1 to 2 times per week).

Vary the workouts to keep it fun

muscle recovery to boost performance

Interval training, hills, long rides… There are many, many ways to train for running. Whatever the goal you have set for yourself, varying the workouts will be beneficial for both your physical performance and your mind.

  • For your muscles, it’s a good way to get out of their comfort zone. They are not accustomed to a single type of effort, but to several, to have a complete development and better performance.
  • For the mind, we vary the activities and we avoid the routine as much as possible. It’s an additional stimulation that will help you hold on over time, and why not, arouse a passion for a certain type of effort.

Clearly, it is important to adopt routines related to your Goalsbut it is also recommended to add some fun workouts to hold the length.

Personally, I recommend 50% pleasure running outings (with friends, without checking your speed, breaks to look at the landscape, etc.) and 50% training outings to progress.

Don’t neglect muscle building

Progressing also means making your body better absorb the training load that you put on it. For this, it is interesting to integrate phases of muscle preparation.

Practicing a few weight training exercises will allow you to run better, by adopting a better posture, but also to ward off muscle fatigue.

Getting stronger will also allow you to limit possible knee pain while running.

My advice : Add 2 strength training sessions per week to your training. It will make your muscles more solid and more enduring to take all the shocks you throw at it. We avoid injury which would only slow you down in achieving your goals.

Remember to adjust your diet

hydration and nutrition for athletic performance

Any sport requires energy and the main fuel the body needs comes from food. Eating well is essential when you want to progress.

The first step is to forget the processed foods and to promote raw products, as fresh as possible, to benefit from a maximum of nutrients. Then, whatever the physical exercise, you have to adapt your diet to your efforts and your goals. Without being obsessed with your diet, you have to be careful to keep a good balance between its macros.

No more mixed salads and other soups to lose weight, we adopt more consistent meals. Finally, be sure to digest your meals well before going for a run and to replenish your nutrients after the session.

If you are wondering what to eat after sport, the ideal is to replenish your vitamins and minerals with a fruit for example, buttered bread and 1 egg. For the sports meal in the evening, opt for something more substantial with vegetables, but also carbohydrates and proteins (brown rice and salmon for example; or brown rice and smoked tofu). These items will allow you to rebuild your muscle in the best conditions.

For progressa rigorous training and an good Alimentation are essential. However, time remains a major factor. So don’t put pressure on yourself and go gradually. Maybe that’s the real secret.

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