You can head, juggle or butterfly kick a ball—but if you can’t endure long stretches of running, your soccer game won’t be at its best! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to improve your speed, stamina and overall enjoyment of running. We’re taking a look at six of them below.
Avoid running after meals
Running (especially for beginners) is bound to result in some discomfort—but if you’re constantly feeling cramped and uncomfortable as you run, consider your pre-run routine. You may be eating large meals too close to your run, not leaving yourself any time for the food to digest and for you to regain your stamina. Next time you run, wait an hour and a half to two hours after a meal and see if that makes a difference.
Make a clear plan
Running on your own can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have a clear plan in place. You might start to wonder—when can I stop? Instead of stopping when you get too tired or whenever you feel like it, try to have a plan in place (such as a specific time or distance you want to achieve) so that you won’t quit until you’ve achieved your plan for the day.
Follow the “one more minute” mantra
If you’re feeling tired, discouraged and out of breath while running, try the “one more minute” mantra. Push yourself for at least one more minute and you’ll realize—you’re capable of handling more than you think you are! The more you practice this mantra, the more it will happen without you even thinking of it—you’ll simply know to keep on going, even when you feel ready to quit.
Appreciate the value of rest
Even the fastest, most experienced runners know the value of rest in between workouts—so don’t feel the need to exert yourself every single day! Give your muscles some rest between long runs so that you have time to recuperate—and so that your daily run doesn’t start to seem like a chore.
Clear your mind
It’s so easy to become acutely aware of how you’re breathing, how your body is moving and how far you’ve come while you run. While it’s always helpful to pay attention to form, it’s wise to clear your mind and avoid overanalyzing your movements while you run. Not only will this result in a more enjoyable experience, but you’ll be able to feel a little more at ease and comfortable while running, too.
Switch it up
As a soccer player, so much of your running will take place on the field in high-pressure situations. But there’s no reason you can’t mix it up while you’re off the field! Look for ways to make your next run more enjoyable, whether that means making a playlist you love or trying out a new, exciting natural path.
We hope that these tips help you become a better, happier runner! Be sure to let us know of your own best tips below.