Running is the literal air beneath our feet and, for most of us, the first choice for exercise and forward movement. Whether it’s training for an upcoming race or the 30 minutes you gift yourself a few days each week, we want running to feel good and (with some effort) get better over time. But if you’ve hit a plateau after logging the miles and following the plan, you’ll benefit from these 7 tips from Coach Liz Waterstraat that add up to big improvements over time.

Liz is a beloved Train Like a Mother Club coach for AMR’s Heart + Sole and Triathlon programs. She began her career in endurance sports at a hometown triathlon in 1999. Since then, she’s competed in more than 200 races, sprint to Ironman, including numerous overall wins and eight National Championship titles. Long story short: She has the experience and coaching chops to know what she’s talking about. Check out her 7 tips.

#1: You’re running too fast.
A balanced approach of easy and hard miles allows progressive gains. Run most miles at a conversational pace. Aim to keep the first mile 30+ seconds slower than your average pace.

#2: You’re inconsistent.
Consistency is the most powerful training variable. Establish a habit of running at least three times a week to see gains. Enlist a coach or friends (online or IRL) to keep you accountable.

#3: Your form is inefficient.
While everyone’s form is unique, a few key changes can improve economy and lessen risk of injury: better core strength, quicker turnover, proper arm swing.


(Want to improve your form? We can help with that! Click HERE.)

#4: You obsess about metrics.
Pace, heart rate, perceived effort vary based on stress, sleep, and weather conditions. Avoid chasing the perfect number or pace. Reflect on patterns over time versus measuring

#5: You’re scared.
Fast or hard running requires tolerating burn in your lungs and fear in your brain. Run outside of your comfort zone once every 7 to 10 days.

#6: You haven’t tried cross training.
Your heart doesn’t know which shoes (or gear) you’re wearing. Improving general fitness with low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, or rowing improves fitness in running.

#7: You don’t enjoy yourself.
If you don’t want to run another marathon, train for a 5K. If you’re tired of hitting the pavement, try the trails. Find ways to keep running fresh and fun. Joy inspires progress.

Which tip do you want to implement first?
Let us know in the comments.