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Running conditioning is the process of conditioning the body to become stronger, develop better endurance, and build strength to become a better runner. Most people practice conditioning when they are training for a specific event, such as a race. Some of the best tips for running conditioning include varying the types of running that one does, as well as making sure to have a balance between running practice and strength training.
Of course, actual running is one of the largest parts of running conditioning. There are a few different methods to try to improve both one's endurance for distance runs, as well as one's speed. The first is to vary the terrain. Though simply running on flat ground is effective to lose weight and get in shape, running on varied terrain such as running up and down hills, or even through the woods, works different muscle groups in the legs and makes one a stronger runner. If one is only able to run on a treadmill, be sure to vary the incline regularly.
Another tip for running conditioning is to use interval training. Runners often insert periods of sprinting into their running workouts, which is a great way to increase overall speed. For instance, one might run at a normal pace for one or two minutes, then sprint for 30 seconds, then run normally for another minute or two, and so on. For each running workout, it is important to keep track of information such as distance covered, time spent, and heart rate, all of which can be used to track conditioning progress.
In addition to simply running for conditioning, one might also try other methods of aerobic conditioning such as biking or swimming. These also help to increase endurance, and work different muscle groups throughout the body. It is also important to use strength training as part of a running conditioning program. Exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg presses on a leg press machine are all important for building up strength in the legs. The abdominal and back muscles should be worked as well, in addition to the arms; be sure to give the body a day or two to recover after each strength training session.
Finally, when doing running conditioning, it is important to stay limber and to stretch after each workout. In addition, be sure to actively warm up before each run by walking briskly, or by jogging slowly. Warming up and cooling down for each workout is one of the best ways to prevent injuries, and to ensure that the body steadily increases in strength and physical fitness.