101 Tips for Your Best Run Ever

21. Dare to be different (but not dumb)
“In training, don’t be afraid to be an oddball, eccentric, or extremist. Only by daring to go against tradition can new ways of training be learned. The trick is recognizing quickly when a new approach is counterproductive.” —Benji Durden, 1980 U.S. Olympic marathoner

22. Reach for fast, low-fat fuel
“Energy bars are good portable food for runners. Look for bars with 4 grams of fat or fewer per 230 calories. Fat slows down digestion.” —Liz Applegate, Ph.D., sports nutritionist

23. Go for the goal
“I believe in using races as motivators. It’s hard to keep on an exercise program if you don’t have a significant goal in sight.” —Bob Greene, personal trainer of Oprah Winfrey

24. Think big . . . but carry a small eraser
“Brainstorm your training goals first, then write them down. Do this in pencil, so you can change some specifics when reality sets in.” —Jeff Galloway, Olympic runner/author/coach

25. Show some horse sense
“During long, slow distance training, you should think of yourself as a thoroughbred disguised as a plow horse. No need to give yourself away by running fast.” —Marty Liquori, running commentator and former world-class miler

26. Build with care
“If you put down a good solid foundation, you can then build one room after another and pretty soon you have a house. After your base mileage, add hills, pace work, speedwork, and finally race strategy.” —Rod Dixon, New Zealand Olympian and 1983 New York City Marathon champ

27. Look at the big picture
“Whether one shall run on his heels or his toes is hardly worth discussing. The main thing in distance running is endurance—and how to get it.” —Clarence DeMar, seven-time Boston Marathon champion and U.S. Olympic marathoner

28. Toss out the clutter
“Throw away your 10-function chronometer, heart-rate monitor with the computer printout, training log, high-tech underwear, pace charts, and laboratory-rat-tested-air-injected-gel-lined-mo-tion-control-top-of-the-line footwear. Run with your own imagination.” —Lorraine Moller, 1992 Olympic marathon bronze medalist

29. Listen to your body (yes, again!)
“Your body is always trying to tell you where you are. Beware when you become tired and listless, when you lose interest in workouts and approach them as a chore rather than a pleasure.” —Dr. George Sheehan

30. Go steady
“Day to day consistency is more important than big mileage. Then you’re never shot the next day.” —John Campbell, former masters running star from New Zealand

31. Find the right proportion
“If you run 30 miles a week, then about 7 of those—or approximately one-quarter—should be quality miles. Quality miles will boost your aerobic capacity.” —Owen Anderson, Ph.D., running writer

32. Stay above bored
“A 40-minute run punctuated with a half-dozen 30-second pace pickups (not all-out sprints) can really jazz up an otherwise boring training run.” —Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World editor and 1968 Boston Marathon champ

33. Be a “cross-eater”
“Like cross-training, ‘cross-eating’ adds needed variety to your diet—and life. Expand your nutritional repertoire by trying one new food each week.” —Liz Applegate, Ph.D.

34. Ease it back
“After a run, don’t rush back into life. Take a few minutes to walk, stretch, relax, meditate.” —Runner’s World editors

35. Don’t force the tissue
“Overly aggressive stretching can actually increase your injury risk.” —Tim Noakes, M.D., author of Lore of Running

Advanced Training

36. Think globally, act locally
“We wrote our workout schedules in 3-week blocks. My coach and I knew what my immediate goal was—what I was trying to accomplish in the next 3 weeks. But in the back of my mind was the ultimate goal: what I wanted to do months away.” —Bob Kennedy, U.S. record holder for 5000 meters

37. Go with mind over grind
“Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is doing the training that makes you gradually stronger.” —Keith Brantly, U.S. Olympic marathoner

38. Have fun on your easy runs
“I make sure I have some really enjoyable training runs, remembering to ‘smell the roses’ along the way. That way I don’t become caught up in the training-is-everything syndrome.” —Sue Stricklin, top masters runner from the 1970s

39. Have fun on your hard runs
“Do tough workouts that you enjoy. Mile repeats and quarters are more fun for me than fartlek. [“Fartlek” is Swedish for variable-paced, up-tempo running.] I feel better about my running when I do the workouts I enjoy and that I know I benefit from.” —Dan Cloeter, two-time Chicago Marathon winner

40. Stay open-minded
“When you try a new type of training, think like a beginner. Just because you can run 20 miles every Sunday doesn’t mean you can survive 10 x 400 meters on the track at a fast pace.” —Jack Daniels, Ph.D., exercise physiologist, coach, and former world-class pentathlete

41. Be a smart camel
“Before you do your long run, place containers of sports drink out on your course, even if you have to bury them.” —Runner’s World editors

42. Work on your growl
“The long run puts the tiger in the cat.” —Bill Squires, marathon coach

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