How to Get Better At Running

I know, I know. I’m a software engineer, what do I know about running? Honestly, way more than I should. Therefore, I think it’s only right that I share everything I know with you, the person who has, somehow, found their way to this blog post.

First, pick a goal

Want to run a mile at a certain pace? neat-o. Have a dream of participating in your first 5k/half/marathon? Right on. Just want to walk up stairs without getting winded? Radical, dude.

No matter the goal, just choose something. You can always adjust.

My first running goal in 2014 was to do a mile in 7-minutes. In May of 2022, I ran a 10-miler in an hour and one minute (so, 6 minutes per mile). We all start somewhere, and you’ll be surprised at how far you can go.

Second, get the essentials

No need to get the Apple Watch Ultra (unless you really want it) for your first few runs. However, below is **my **personal list of things that are absolutely essential to have a successful run:

Third, hit the track, the trail and/or the road

I have three rules for running to keep me healthy and fast.

1st Rule of Running: Get to steppin’

TL;DR: Take the distance you want to run and multiply it by 1500 (the number of steps per mile when running), and get **at least **that many steps per day.

Most often, people suffer injury because their bodies aren’t used to the volume (number of runs). Therefore, I highly recommend increasing your overall step count.

Ex.) if your training for a half-marathon, you’ll want to take at least 20,000 steps a day. Why 20k? Because there are roughly 20k steps in a half marathon (13.1 miles * 1500 steps per mile)

20k is a lot, so a good number to aim for is 10,000 steps per day. It’s enough to where you’ll have to purposefully work toward it, but not so many that your whole day is just walking.

But enough about walking! Let’s talk running…

2nd Rule of Running: Keep it 80/20

TL;DR: 80% of your running volume should be easy, 20% should be intense.

By this I mean that 80% of your total running volume should be easy, light work. You want your heart rate at 50% - 70% of your max (220 - your age).

The other 20% is your intense, speed work. You’ll want to push yourself into that 70% - 90% max heart rate and really try to improve.

3rd Rule of Running: No more than 10%

TL;DR: Never increase your running by 10% per week

I said it above but I’ll say it again: never increase your running volume by more than 10% per week!

Ex.) if you run for a total of 30 minutes one week, the next week you should do **at most **33 minutes of running.

Sticking to this rule will ensure that you’re able to progress in your training while adding as little risk as possible.

In Conclusion

I have so much more I can say about running. There are my tips for picking out running shoes; my in-depth breakdown of my favorite running gear; and my personal recommendations for how to train. All of which are in the works, so come back soon!