Hal Higdon’s Top 10 Running Tips


How marvelous is social media? Runners can share views and opinions as well as training tips. Data abounds, questions get answered rapidly, and communities of new and experienced runners can be formed almost immediately.

On my Twitter account, @HigdonMarathon, I regularly tweet about the sport of running. Recently, I discovered that Twitter had ranked my most popular tweets. The most popular post was about longevity and received 53,942 impressions over a period of 28 days. Want to know more of my “top running tips” explained on social. Well, here are my all-time top 10 tweets, with plenty of insight into run training, racing and healthy living. Enjoy!

  1. “To become a good runner, you need to: 1) eat right, 2) lose extra body fat, (3) not smoke and avoid heavy drinking, (4) get adequate sleep, and (5) exercise often. The proper combo of diet and exercise plus preventative health maintenance can extend life by as much as 6 to 9 years!”
  2. “Once you reach 16 miles, you are in long-run territory. That is the point where the psychological and physiological changes kick in.”
  3. “In any long distance race, except at the elite level, you do not beat others, as you might in a mile or a 100-meter dash. Instead, you achieve a personal victory. If others finish in front of or behind you, it is only that their personal victories are more or less than yours.”
  4. “Encourage people to run. Most important, encourage them to start.”
  5. “As your mileage climbs, you need to eat more and more food, not less. In truth, this is why some runners run, and train for marathons. To eat.”
  6. “For first-time marathoners, the goal is to finish—regardless of time. But for vets, it’s not merely the race, but also the preparation that goes into the race: the steady buildup of miles, long runs on Sundays, the inevitable taper, the ceremonial aspects of doing 26.2.”
  7. “Cancel junk from your diet. Get rid of soft drinks and sugar sweets. Rely on complex carbohydrates: potatoes, apples, pasta, bread, et al.”
  8. “The key to improvement is consistency. Just run day after day, week after week, year after year at a level where you do not become injured.”
  9. “If you train properly leading up to your marathon and pick a reasonable pace while running it, there should be no wall.”
  10. “For long runs I recommend you run 30 to 90 OR MORE seconds a mile slower than race pace. The ‘or more’ is meant to emphasize that it is the distance not the speed that counts the most.”

I continue to tweet @HigdonMarathon, several times a day, offering tips to make you a better runner or sometimes stating whatever thoughts enter my mind. It’s fun. Come join me in cyberspace.

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Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for Runner's World and author of 34 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that more than a quarter million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks. Hal uses TrainingPeaks to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans. Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here or on his website.

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About the Author

TrainingPeaks provides the complete web, mobile and desktop solutions for enabling smart and effective endurance training. Products include TrainingPeaks web and mobile platforms for athletes and coaches, Best Bike Split performance prediction software, and the new WKO4 desktop software for cutting-edge, individualized analysis. TrainingPeaks solutions are used by Tour de France teams, IRONMAN world champions, Olympians, age group athletes and coaches around the world to track, analyze and plan their training. Learn more attrainingpeaks.com.
TrainingPeaks provides the complete web, mobile and desktop solutions for enabling smart and effective endurance training. Products include TrainingPeaks web and mobile platforms for athletes and coaches, Best Bike Split performance prediction software, and the new WKO4 desktop software for cutting-edge, individualized analysis. TrainingPeaks solutions are used by Tour de France teams, IRONMAN world champions, Olympians, age group athletes and coaches around the world to track, analyze and plan their training. Learn more attrainingpeaks.com.

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