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This article is written by Elizabeth Waterstraat and originally appeared on

1. Start out Slowly
In both training and running, take your time to build toward your goal. In training, spend
time building aerobic fitness and strength before speedwork. At races, include a warmup
to activate your muscles and gradually build into your race speed.

2. Focus on Form
Time invested in focusing on form will pay off in free speed. Proper form is efficient and
economical. Aim for relaxed arem carry, strong push off and a faster cadence.

3. Follow a Plan
Enlist the help of a coach, reputable book or training program. Remember, in
training and fitness (and in comedy), timing is everything. A plan will help you reach
your goal with the right balance of training so you arrive at your race fit and rested
enough to peak.

4. Disconnect to Connect
Every once in a while disconnect from technology (pace, heart rate, measured courses) to connect with how running slow, moderate, and hard feels. Learn to read your body cues and focus on breathing, the sound of your feet, conversations in your head, etc.

5. Redefine Your Comfort Zone
Breaking through to a personal best requires discomfort. Once a week, redefine your comfort zone by getting uncomfortable. Hills, fartlek runs, speedwork, group runs or running farther, all create challenges.

6. Be Limitless
Think in terms of "why not?" Envision yourself at the end of the year or a few years from now: Where would you like to be with running? Then, determine how to get there. Set smaller goals in route to larger goals. Reassess your progress after every race or year, then work at your weaknesses until they become strengths.

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