Running Advice, Techniques, and Workouts

Running, the action of moving yourself forward rapidly on foot, is a popular form of physical activity that requires little equipment. It's an excellent way to boost cardiovascular fitness anywhere and at any time. All you need is a good pair of shoes, weather-appropriate gear, and a safe route.

Whether you're running for the first time or training for your next race, read this information about proper form, the best shoes, training strategies, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you run faster?

    There are a few strategies that can help you pick up the pace in your runs. Incorporating short sprints will help, but interval training, tempo runs, and hills will also help you get faster. A treadmill may be an excellent tool for improving overall performance and increasing speed. The treadmill allows you to add hills and easily perform speed work. Of course, working on your form, weekly mileage, and allowing proper rest and recovery will also aid in increasing overall speed. Consider working with a running coach or using a running app to create a personalized training program to increase your speed.

  • How do you start running?

    To ensure comfort and prevent injury, first, get medical clearance to begin running. Second, invest in properly-fitting running shoes. Finally, decide where and when you will run. Do you have a safe area (trails, road, or a track) that will enable you to regularly run outside? Or will you utilize a treadmill? Deciding which option is most readily available can help plan a running program. When you’re ready to put one foot in front of the other, consider a walk/run strategy in the beginning: commit to a set period of time, and alternate walking and running. You can increase the running component progressively over time.

  • How many calories do you burn running a mile?

    As a very general and simplistic rule, a runner will burn about 100 calories per mile. Individual calorie expenditure is dependent on weight, pace, and other factors, so individuals who want a slightly more accurate estimate might use a tracking device, such as a running watch. Note that calorie counters on cardio equipment and fitness trackers tend to overestimate calorie burn. Using a heart rate monitor with your tracking device may provide a more accurate estimate.

  • What should you eat before a run?

    A good rule of thumb is to choose a combination of foods that are high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel. There are a variety of options that can work, such as a bagel with peanut butter or a bowl of oatmeal with berries. You will want to consume your meal or snack within 90 minutes to an hour before a run. Foods to avoid before a run include spicy foods, high-fiber foods such as legumes, lactose-heavy foods, and greasy or fried foods.

  • How fast can the average human run?

    According to a study by RunRepeat, the average time for a 5k (3.1 miles) is 35 minutes.  Starting your 5k journey can be made easier by following a guided plan. 

Key Terms

Page Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Calories Burned HQ. Calories burned running calculator.

  3. Wallen MP, Gomersall SR, Keating SE, Wisløff U, Coombes JS. Accuracy of heart rate watches: implications for weight management. Calbet JAL, ed. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(5):e0154420. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154420

  4. Cleveland Clinic. Aerobic exercise.