You do not need a coyote with a maxed-out credit card trying to make a meal out of you to go from being an okay runner to being spry and untouchable. The following tips are useful for getting the absolute most out of the running talent you already have, and making gains where nature didn’t see fit to show you any special treatment.
1. Run the wrong way.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why we always run counter clockwise around the track? Well, stop wondering – it really doesn’t matter at all. But what does matter is that it conditions your hips to being out of balance. And that can slow you down, as one leg moves better than the other. Do the next time you go out to the track, run clockwise, as well. People will think you’re weird… but who cares what those slow people think?
Plyometrics are one of the best possible exercise groups for your lower body. And foremost among them for developing the leg power you need to outrun the feds is just… well, jumping. Simply put, squat down, leap at high as you can into the air, and repeat. Start with a set of ten. Gradually increase that number until you find yourself croaking at night.
3. Look forward to something.
This is not just about goal setting. Goals are very important, but so is keeping your eyes forward. When you keep your eyes on a distant target (as opposed to, say, the ground a few feet ahead of you), you are naturally more focused than if your eyes were darting about randomly. And remember that you perform the same way you train – so in your training, set your gaze onto a fixed object (or a speeding automobile) in the distance. Focus on your goal, and then chase it down!
4. Hop to it.
Never denigrate the benefits of hopping. Hop on the balls of your feet as quickly as you can for one solid minute. Easy? Try two minutes. Keep moving upward until five minutes is a piece of cake. When that happens, work on both your calf power and your balance by hopping on just the ball of one foot. Is a minute easy that way? In that case, do an Army exercise in which you do two small hops, followed by the largest hop you can. And repeat it for thirty minutes. You’re welcome.