Always Run Facing Traffic1 of 17
To stay safe while on a training run, always run facing the flow of traffic to ensure you see any potential hazards coming your way.
Don't Eat, Drink or Wear Anything New During a Race2 of 17
Never try anything new for a race. You don't want to risk chafing or GI distress that could derail all the hard training you put in leading up to the big day. The same rule applies to difficult or long training runs, as well as what you eat and drink the night before you toe the line.
Cross Training Is Your Friend3 of 17
Cross training not only decreases your chance of injury but also cuts down on your risk of burnout. Mix up your activities by adding in non-weight-bearing exercises, such as swimming or cycling.
Mimic the Pace You're Training For4 of 17
If you want to run a sub-two half marathon (a 9:09 average pace), you'll want to do some training runs at that pace. While this doesn't mean you need to run 13.1 miles at 9:09 pace during training—that's what the race is for—you should at least know what the pace feels like over an extended period of time.
Run an Even Pace for Your Best Chance to PR5 of 17
If you have a time goal, the best strategy is to run the entire race at the same pace or with negative splits—running faster as the race goes on. However, running negative splits doesn't mean blasting out of the gate; burning out before you're halfway through the course is even worse.
Dress Like It's 10 Degrees Warmer6 of 17
You're going to warm up as you get your blood pumping. That long sleeve top and tights might have seemed like a good idea when you stepped outside your door, but once you start to sweat you'll be wishing you wore shorts and a T-shirt instead
Replace Shoes After 400 to 500 Miles7 of 17
For a sport with limited equipment needs, what's on a runner's feet is very important. And while getting a new pair of kicks is fun, it's about more than just looking good on the road. Wearing worn out shoes can put unnecessary strain on your joints—and don't wait for your shoes to be on their death bed to replace them. Get a new pair sooner than later and rotate them with your old standbys.
Wait to Run Until Two Hours After a Meal8 of 17
Like the summertime pool rule for kids, you shouldn't head out for a run immediately after eating that big pasta dinner. It takes about two hours for your stomach to empty, especially when you've consumed high-carb foods.
Warm Up (and Cool Down) With 10 Minutes of Easy Running or Walking9 of 17
It Takes Seven Years to Plateau10 of 17
In a column for "National Masters News," Mike Tymn shares conclusions from his seven-year adaption theory, which found that runners were posting their best times around seven years after they began a serious running practice. The time it takes to reach your plateau could be extended if you're a lower-mileage runner.
Talking Should Be Easy During Daily Runs11 of 17
Regular, everyday runs—not speed work, tempo runs or intervals—should be easy enough that you can hold a conversation while pounding the pavement.
Refuel Within 30 to 60 Minutes After a Significant Workout or Race12 of 17
You wouldn't take your car for a long drive without filling it up with gas afterward, right? The same goes for your body after a run. Replacing the glycogen that was depleted with carbs, as well as consuming protein to repair muscles, will help you recover faster and be prepared to run again.
Run at Least One 20-Mile Run Before a Marathon13 of 17
A long run in the double digits can help simulate the length of a marathon, including the effort your body will go through during the race. Plus, knowing you can run 20 miles—just 10K short of the whole marathon—will give you a big confidence boost on race day.
Schedule One Easy Day After Every Hard Day of Training14 of 17
You can't go, go, go at the same effort level all the time. Your body needs a chance to recover and rebuild after a hard workout before it can perform like that again. Always make sure to give yourself an "easy" day—meaning a slow or short run or a day of cross training—after every hard effort, to ensure you stay at your best.
Long Runs Should Be Three Minutes Slower Than 5K Pace15 of 17
There's no such thing as too slow when it comes to long runs, because the most important thing about them is completing the miles, not how fast you do so. Running too fast can impact recovery or even cause injuries.
Increase Weekly Mileage by No More Than 10 Percent16 of 17
Upping your total miles too much week over week can be detrimental to your training and goals, causing an increase in injuries, burnout and more. Never run more than 10 percent farther than you did the previous week. For example, if you ran 20 miles one week, don't run more than 22 miles the following week.