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6 easy ways to become a better runner

Tired of being left in the dust? Here's how to speed cross the finish line.
51 Comments | Add Yours

For school, I have to run at least a nine-minute mile, but my time is always around 10:30! This article is really helpful, thank you <3

by aprilshowers30 on 9/15/2012 11:12:52 PM


I finally got my dad to jog with me every evening, because I live at the edge of a suburban area and it's pretty dangerous to go out and run alone. Only a shame there's no hills around. They'd help.

by ibtiwiptywoo on 4/11/2012 6:32:24 AM


the girl in the picture DOES NOT look "anorexically thin". She looks healthy. I am quite thin myself and people have called me anorexic before, and it really hurts. it's just plain mean to make fun of someones body.

by yesnohellogoodbye on 3/27/2012 6:51:37 PM


The girl in the pic looks anorexically thin.

by Danerka on 3/8/2012 6:18:57 PM


BIG PROBLEM HERE, Ok, well about 1-2 months ago, I told my best friend that I fancied this boy, I trusted her, but she went and told him! I was SO humiliated, she did it infront of the whole school. I only sort-of fancied him cause it was the school dance comin' up, So I dont ACTUALLY like him, But now he He wont leave me alone! he keeps coming up to me in lessons, he keeps smiling at me, and I HATE IT,
Whats the best way to stop him?

Hey girlie,

If you honestly don't like him, ignore it completely. If you're ever alone with him, be honest - tell him, "I'm really flattered, but to be honest my friend kinda lied when she said that about me. I think we'd be awesome as friends though!" You can do this, girlie <3 
Lauren C.

by catluverforlife on 11/17/2011 11:06:37 AM


I want to start exercising more, not because I'm overweight but I want to gain muscle. I live in a rural area but when there are cars they go around 70 mph, so jogging isn't that safe. I can't go to a gym or do yoga classes because I live in a rural area. I tried wii fit but you don't burn that much calories or gain muscle. I try to do yoga but find myself bored with that. I do enjoy the workouts in the magazines but I can't seem to stick to them. And i feel awkward doing the tv workouts. Do you have any suggestions? Right now I'm kinda stuck, i cant seem to get motivated to do much of anything, and im not big on sports either :/

Hey girlie,

You have to overcome that awkwardness and use what you have available to you! You can't go to a gym and you can't work out outside - so you're going to have to find an alternative. Try kickboxing DVDs and mat pilates DVDs. Sure you'll feel a little silly at first, but you'll soon get a lot more comfy following their moves - and you'll feel results, which is the best part of all!
Lauren C.

by rockincat10 on 11/4/2011 9:00:42 PM


Ok so I really want (and need) to start working out. The only problem is that I need something to help keep me motivated to stick with it every day. My friends are always busy so they can't help me. Any ideas I can use to stay motivated???

Hey girlie,

Make a realistic calendar of all the workouts you'll do each day! Mix it up so you're doing something different every day - it'll spice things up so your routine isn't too boring. You could also reward yourself for making it through a whole week without skipping a workout, like spending your allowance on a new album or indulging in a little brownie. Lastly, you could keep a workout blog where you write down EVERY exercise you do each day. That way, if you skip out and don't have anything to write, you'll feel a little guilty writing, "Skipped my workout today." It'll motivate you to keep going so you have an exciting, interesting, and rewarding thing to say! 
Lauren C.

by laneybugrocks on 11/3/2011 10:52:57 PM


I want to try a new sport, but I am going to be in high school soon. Making the teams sounds really competitive. I am not happy with playing basketball and volleyball. I want to try a more individual sport. Any ideas?

Hey girl!

Why don't you try tennis? That way, you can play individually and sometimes play doubles. You'll get the team feeling you're used to and will be able to beat your own records. Have fun! xoxox 
Devin A.

by bubbles4567890 on 10/30/2011 9:00:14 PM


MOD MOD MOD I have exercise reduced asthma and I was wondering if I should follow the same tips in this article to work onmy running.Its important because if I don't I might not make the soccer team next start kicking us off the soccer team next year)If I shouldn't follow these tips what can i do?Please help me!!!!


Hey chicky, you may have to ask your doctor, but I'm pretty sure you should be able to. Just be sure to take breaks whenever you can and have your inhaler with you. Smile Smile

Lynae P.

by Rilu on 10/30/2011 10:06:42 AM


In my school we have to run a mile every friday... its easy for me (kinda) but my time is always around 7 minutes. My last one was 7:08. I'm eleven and I wanna get better for XC next year. How do I get better?


Hey chica, practice makes perfect, so keep running. Set up a scheldue for your week where you run a couple hours a day. Hope this helps! You can do it girl! Smile Smile

Lynae P.

by karatesis7 on 10/22/2011 8:27:03 PM


MOD!!!! I an in dance class instead of PE at my school, but we still run a mile every Monday. Well, my friend in PE runs the mile on Monday with me, but she does it differently than I do. I run and then i say, "At the fence, i will walk until the tree" and then i repeat that cycle, choosing walking and running points. Well my friend does it like this: "At the fence we sprint till the next 4 trees" and we never take a break to walk. I just did this with her for the first time last week and after PE, I couldn't even stand up!!!!I was VERY fatigued!!What should I do??? She's the only friend I have in PE and i don't wanna run by myself!!! She keeps me motivated, but it's too hard!! P.S.-Her mile time is 8 min and mine is like 9:30!!!!


Hey chica, I would just tell her, that her cycle is a little difficult for you. Ask her if she would be okay taking at least one break. I'm sure she won't be offended in any way. Just ask her girl. Smile Smile

Lynae P.

by chocolatecharme on 10/22/2011 5:49:47 PM


So, I really wanna get rid of my muffin top, and I really like to go for walks, but do you have any tips to get rid of sideaches? Every time I try to run/jog I get one and it hurts really bad.

Hey girl,

Sideaches just mean that you're not controlling your breathing as well as you could or you haven't warmed up properly before getting really active. Remember to stretch before any physical activity for 5 minutes! Then try a brisk walk for 5 minutes, then start jog-walking off-and-on for one minute each. You can also get pains in your side from pushing yourself too hard at first. You have to build up your endurance, and you will if you stick with it! Remember to also breathe deeply, don't gasp for air, and you'll be just fine Smile
Lauren C.

by chocolatebunny676 on 10/20/2011 10:48:45 PM


I want to get into running to get ready for track and field in the spring, but i need to run to get better at running, and my mom is too overprotective to let me run and too busy to run with me. What can I do? And how many days a week should i do my workout? Thanks- Smile

Maybe you can stick around after school (get some friends to join you) and run in your school's gym. Try this for two days and then slowly increase Smile

Brittany G. 
Brittany G.

by needausername on 10/18/2011 11:22:41 PM


last year right around this time i hurt my knee. I have been having the same pain in my knee again for a couple of weeks but my parents dont believe me because i get hurt so much. what should i do?

Hey girl, I'd go talk to the school nurse about it. If it's serious, she'll refer you to another doctor and call your 'rents so they'll have to take it seriously. Because it's been lasting so long, I would definitely speak up too. It could be the sign of something.

Alyssa B.

by socestar8 on 10/10/2011 5:36:06 PM


i'm a cross country runner, but towards the end of the summer, i got into an accident that caused me to be out from any exercise for six weeks. i'm allowed to come back next week, but i'm not sure if it will be worth it going into the season when it will be over in the end of october, because i will be out of shape, and endurance isn't built overnight. i know the team needs me, because my abilities when i'm out of shape are still close to the best people on the team, but i'm not sure if i'm willing to enter mid-season getting times that aren't my best and being discouraged from them. any advice? Smile

Hey babe! 

Instead of worrying about your contributions to the team, why don't you worry about getting back into shape? You can just start going to practices to get you back into shape and ask your coach to only put you in when you start getting better. good luck! xoxox
Devin A.

by skittleburst11 on 9/22/2011 1:27:01 PM


Thanks so much for these tips! I'm in varsity track and field and I was wondering what I could do to get better, besides just running back and forth. Thank you! BTW, do you have any tips on how to keep from getting sick all the time besides washing your hands. Thanks!

by ashambjor on 9/20/2011 2:52:22 PM


MOD MOD MOD ok i do a sport called jiu jitsu (like wrestling) and my nose got broke last night i really wanna go running and keep doing everything i do know but im scared i might hurt it worse any advice???

Hey! Sounds like a very interesting sport! If you think that you shouldn't do any more physical activity then it is probably best that you don't. After a few weeks when you are healed, ask a doctor about staring up again. In the mean time to keep up your physical activity, try doing some stationary work outs or just go for a calm walk.  
Ana D.

by klbugg97 on 9/15/2011 12:32:38 PM


mod- i have never jogged in my life before and i feel really embarrasd to go out and gt swety in front of ppl.
is there anything i can do to feel more confident when startng for the first time?????

Hey girl, by not focusing on the people: trust me, I've jogged for years, and they really don't focus on you. Just focus on your routine. Bring music. Keep your eyes ahead and focus on the path, not the people around you.

Alyssa B.

by Amber8231998 on 9/12/2011 7:47:42 PM


okay so today in gym we had to do the mile run, i got a good time but my feet really heart whenever i walk, i run daily and everything, but today my feet hurt so bad! i don't want to go to school tomorrow and dread walking a ton, so what can i do tonight that will make my feet feel better?
xoxo sail

Hey girl, just rest them; use ice if it'll help. It's natural to be sore when you overexert yourself and that's why it's important you give them a chance to heal.

Alyssa B.

by sailaway11 on 9/12/2011 7:37:04 PM


Hello!!! So i guess you could say i have a "muffin top" sort of thing. What are some exercises just for that? Thanks!!! Smile


Hey girly! Cardio is a great way to reduce that "muffin top" effect. Try incorporating climbing stairs, jogging, swimming, and cycling into your everyday routine. You should also be cautious of what you are eating. Your diet is very important; reducing your sugar and fat intake can help a great deal. Consult with your doctor to see how you can improve your diet. 

Amalia E.

by Bethapus on 9/12/2011 7:24:17 AM


put your hand over your mouth
make a wish
post this on 10 other polls
look at your hand

by Marceline1 on 9/10/2011 6:51:45 PM


ok so i know its still a few months off, but i want to join my high schools winter track team. i believe that, in track theres a no cut policy so its not making the team im worried about, its the fact im not good at running right now. currently i can run about 2 miles w/ one or two 30 sec. walking breaks inbetween, which i do about 3 time a week. ive been told by adults tht run, tht apperently i have a good, fast sprint so thts kinda wat i want to focus on, but i would also like to try distance. do u have any exercise/workout tips tht could help me build stamina, strength and distance tht i can start ASAP and contiue to use till the season starts? thnxx

Continue to do what you're doing and slowly increase the distance you run Smile

Brittany G.  
Brittany G.

by iheartu? on 9/10/2011 11:08:23 AM


I am going to try running like this. i am a good long distance runner but when it comes to sprints I'm dead.

by devann8 on 9/10/2011 10:16:21 AM


Awesome tips! On Thursday I ran 1.5 miles, and 1.75 miles on Friday. Its really good exercise- I'm torching calories really fast. Here is something that sucks though- when I speed up, i get a really bad stitch.

by basketballcutie11 on 9/10/2011 6:16:44 AM


i joined the cross country team at my school this year!! its kind of hard but it will get better with more practice!

by kaalaa on 9/9/2011 11:25:09 PM


I HAVE HORRIBLE SHIN SPLINTS! and I am on the cross country team. Most of my team mates wear compression socks. I was wondering do you know anything about them? Or ways I could get rid of my shin splints?

Ouch, girlieeee! That hurts my legs just to think about it. I'm not the person to ask about this though because it's a medical condition that needs to be treated very carefully (and I haven't been trained in medicine!). Ask your school's trainer, a school nurse, or your own doctor to explain shin splints to you and then tell you how compression socks work/if they're worth it, how you could ease the pain, etc. The only "cure" is rest, but there are definitely tricks you can learn to make it a lil easier! 
Lauren C.

by MakeItOrBreakIt:)) on 9/9/2011 10:43:50 PM


MOD MOD My guy friend runs cross country but the guys on the team came up with a stupid rule that they couldnt talk to cheerleader when in their uniform. I am a cheerleader and its really annoying what can I do?


Hey girl,

UGH, boys can be soooo silly sometimes! I wouldn't even bother with him while in uniform if he goes along with nonsense like this - just say "Hey" and continue on, like you're too busy for him and the rest of the CC team. If you return the favor of ignoring them, they'll start to realize this isn't a great idea. Who wouldn't wanna talk to the girls if they have the chance? Silly, silly, silly!

Lauren C.

by olympians on 9/8/2011 4:49:17 PM


I went to softball camp...we ran a lot the first day to the point were I physically couldn't run anymore but the others were too hot. But I was still better than i used to be.

by beth_elbow123 on 9/7/2011 10:11:58 PM


this will be soo helpful for volleyball practice Monday when we run laps around the gym again and again and again. Time for me to start running! maybe even try cross country next year?

by cece-marie on 9/7/2011 10:08:57 PM


we have two weeks of two-a-day practices in soccer before school starts and all we did was run. we ran the mile 5 times and you have to improve your time or you have to sprint for a while. also we probably sprinted/ran 7 miles during conditioning so it was pretty much run hard or keep running. lets just say i got in really good shape, really fast.

by luve2cheer on 9/7/2011 9:12:57 PM


**MOD MOD MOD** So i have weight training in school this year. im a junior. & i want to have a flat stomach and some muscle. so what can i work on for this semester in the class that will help me??? THANK YOU!


Hey chicky, you could try sit ups and crunches. The weights will defintely help too. Smile Smile Smile

Lynae P.

by peace-love on 9/7/2011 6:47:48 PM


MOD MOD MOD!!!!!!!!!!!! Whenever I exercise(like running) my face gets super red and its embarrasing!! my mom said that I just overheat easily, is that possible or am i just wayyy out of shape???


Hey missy, it's probably what your mom said. It could also be all the blood rushing to your face since your adrenaline is pumping while you're exercising. It's actually probably the opposite, you're getting your body into shape. Go girl! Smile Smile Smile

Lynae P.

by girlygirl<3 on 9/7/2011 5:24:10 PM


OMG thanks so much GL for posting this article, it's so helpful!

by foreverme! on 9/7/2011 12:47:38 AM


MOD Tomorrow my volleyball team are gunna wear jerseys to school the day of the game how can i make it look cute during class anything helps... THanks


Focus on your hair and accessories--a nice braid and simple jewelry can work out greatly Smile


Brittany G.

Brittany G.

by jollymoemoe on 9/6/2011 11:35:50 PM


Mod mod mod! After cross country practice in the mornings we have an entire 5 MINUTES to get ready. How on earth can I take a shower, get dressed, do my hair and makeup, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and get to class on time in that short period? It sucks! Thanks!


Something has to be cut from your schedule, unfortunately


Brittany G.

Brittany G.

by eco_chica on 9/6/2011 9:57:03 PM


Omg! Did i ever tell Gl that i love them so much? I have been dying to know how i can run faster in my miles for pe and i look on and guess what? They posted this!!! Thanks so much you dont know how happy i am right now!

by isabella4 on 9/6/2011 9:54:25 PM


MOD, MOD, MOD So i play club volleyball, and my team travels alot and we work out alot, and now that i have not played all summer (cause season has ended) i have not been working out very much...... so do you have any good exercises for me to do??? THNKS!!! Smile


Check out any of the exercises listed, which are all great for starting a working out Smile


Brittany G.

Brittany G.

by springfieldjr14 on 9/6/2011 9:31:07 PM


Mod! Mod! Mod! For gym we don't have locker rooms or any place to change for class and I always wind up looking aweful and sweaty SO do you have any ideas about clothes that can be worn to gym and throughout the school days and maybe some tips to stay fresh after gym. Thanks so much Smile


There's no way to change in a bathroom following gym? If not, carry deodorant and and face wipes and wear cotton materials Smile


Brittany G.

Brittany G.

by Toostie82 on 9/6/2011 9:17:03 PM


MODMODMODMODMODMODMOD Hii. How are you? Ok so I can't run at physical education. I hurt my ankle. I can't do any exercise. How should i get exercise? THANKS!


Try exercising other areas that don't require your ankle: arm excercises, abdominal exercises, etc. Smile


Brittany G.

Brittany G.

by erinciconte on 9/6/2011 9:00:26 PM


These are all good tips Smile One thing I would add is to STAY hydrated during the day. I didn't have any water one day and of course I forget a Gatorade to practice Worst running mistake ever. . .

by ToasterKisshuFanGirl97 on 9/6/2011 8:09:12 PM


I am preparing to run my first 5-mile race and these tips really helped me to remember to shake up my workout on different days. Thanks Girls Life!

by lolqueen4u on 9/6/2011 8:06:16 PM


thanks GL hopefully this will help me cuz i'm going to start trying to run more often this fall for my basketball season!

by fallsb-ball on 9/6/2011 7:29:15 PM


Great tips! I think listening to music or running with a friend definitely help motivate you. Changing up your route makes it way more interesting!

Hey girls! Whether you’re obsessed with makeup or puzzled about fashion, this is the club for you. My club Beauty Queens is the best place for fashion and beauty advice and tips! You can talk about anything from clothing and makeup to health and self-confidence, because inner beauty is important too! I also post beauty quotes, surveys, and tutorials, and I’m open to suggestions!

Also check out beautiful babes bootcamp- a club devoted to making you look great inside and outside!!! It’s loaded with great tips about fitness, health, fashion, and makeup. Check it out today!
<3 <3 <3 thecupcakequeen

by thecupcakequeen on 9/6/2011 7:26:18 PM


Haha when I was in cross country my least favorite thing was running up hills. My favorite part: running down hills Smile

by kaceym on 9/6/2011 7:09:42 PM


Oh my gosh this helps me soooo much because I just got home from cross country and I felt really slow and realized that I need to work on posture and my abs. Thanks GL!

by HMS712 on 9/6/2011 6:23:55 PM


these are awesome Smile

by Classy_Cassy on 9/6/2011 5:28:05 PM


hahaha i wish i could do this. im to lazy lol im sooo uber lazy

by sammy8550 on 9/6/2011 5:20:53 PM


im thinking about joining the basketball team but i might not join because of how hard the running is. i hope this helps!!!

by tswiftluver13 on 9/6/2011 5:06:53 PM


I am joining the cross country team this year- this is great!

by basketballcutie11 on 9/6/2011 4:58:58 PM


These are awesome tips! Also, another one is breathe out your nose not your mouth when running, it helps so much!

by nerdisthewurd26 on 9/6/2011 4:47:41 PM


I joined the Cross country team today at school- this really helps!

by RaceTiger7 on 9/6/2011 4:42:54 PM

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High-heeled shoes are bad for your feet.

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