12 Non-Time-Based Ways to Tell You're Getting Better at Running

Getting Faster. It Doesn't Have To Be Your Only Run Objective. 12 Telling Ways You Get Better At Running That's Not All About Your Time.

Coach Kim & Pam Celebrating Huntington Olympic Tri Finish
Pam's Huntington Olympic Tri Finish with Coach Kim

It's not simply about lowering your pace or time when it comes to getting better at running. In fact, putting too much emphasis on metrics can backfire.

Even if your aim is to run faster in a race or just over a certain distance, according to Kimberly Townsend, an expert runner, Boston qualifier, & Running & Triathlon certified coach based in Indiana, pushing yourself every day to make those numbers fall isn't the greatest approach to get there.

And, maybe more importantly, it can make your runs feel a lot less enjoyable. It will definitely take away from the other benefits of running frequently and suck the fun out of your runs.

"Trying to beat your time from the week before, or the day before, adds a lot of pressure," Townsend says. "We see changes in running over the period of weeks, not days," says coach Kim.

After all, according to the Fort Wanye- based running instructor Coach Kimberly, your pace might vary depending on everything from how far you're going to the terrain you're covering to the temperature—and even how much you slept the night before effects your running performance.

Now, there's no rule that says you have to improve your running skills. It's completely acceptable if you're happy with your current speed. In fact, you don't have to strive to get better or faster at all; simply getting out there, maintaining your fitness, and enjoying the mood boost is totally acceptable.

However, if making improvements motivates you, you might want to explore other indicators that your cardiovascular and respiratory fitness is increasing. The good thing is that there are lots. It's also beneficial to tune into them if you expect to keep running for a long time.

Coach Kimberly, shared with our team, "I often find that people identify their runs too much with their pace." When runners are hampered by injury, age, or other factors, they may experience increased stress or even be compelled to quit.