What are some of the best running tips ever?

• Strengthen your whole body.
Good runners condition their whole bodies. The arms drive the legs. Keep your upper body and core toned with a lot of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and back raises (don’t forget that the back is part of the core), and dynamic flexibility work like yoga and Pilates.

• Run lots of hills.
One of the beauties of hills is that they really work on dynamic power, hip strength, and hip mobility because you need to be able to drive those hips really high to get up the hills.

• Quit trying to set your personal best.
Be process oriented, not outcome oriented. Get a little better with each training session — a stronger run, a steeper hill, etc. Don’t obsess about your watch or even race day, but instead focus on the journey.

• Drink up.
Water is vital to every function of the body.

• Stretch and refuel after runs and races.
There’s a natural temptation to hurry about your day or rush to your next thing. Take the time to refresh, renew and reward your body by stretching and eating healthy after that workout.

• Find a balanced routine that works for you.
The best plans are your plans. There’s no question about when and how and why. It’s built into the process so you can focus on the work.

• Patience is a virtue.
In distance running, you’ve got to learn to love the process. Whether it’s in training (it takes a lot of time to get better) or in racing (holding back for the first 20 miles of a marathon), patience is a virtue. There are no quick fixes. It’s about believing in yourself and your plan.

• Take recovery days seriously.
The day after a tough workout, the most you want to do is jog lightly, do some form of crosstraining, or rest. You need a recovery day after a hard day. No exceptions no matter your fitness level.

• Make it social.
Get a group together or join a local running club. When you’re socially and emotionally invested in your workouts, life and running is way more fun.

• Don’t pick just one running partner.
One of the most basic ways to add a little variety to your running life is finding different running partners. You don’t need to be monogamous about who you run with. The same principle applies for those who always run alone: Try joining a group for long weekend runs and (re)discover the joys of exercising with others.

• Get off your feet before a race.
Take it easy the day and night prior to race day. Discipline yourself to keep activity to a minimum, making a conscious effort to sit and rest with your feet up as much as possible.

• Visualize success.
You can even practice your finish line pose.

• Use technology (but not too much).
Apps from MapMyRun and the USATF can help you plot your training routes in less time (no more driving them beforehand). Garmin GPS watches track your distance and pace. But don’t let your tools get in the way.

• Know when your running shoes are worn out.
If you have new aches and pains or notice that your ankles, knees or hips get achier after a run, it might be time to get a new pair of shoes. Another sign that you need new shoes include extra 8 sore feet, worn out treads, the shoe’s midsole feels tough and you’re getting blisters. Get to your local running store right away before your whole body hurts!

• First, run easy.
Once you can run easy, focus on running light. Once you get light, focus on running smooth. By the time you’re easy, light, and smooth, you won’t have to worry about getting fast — you will be.

• Don’t run injured.
It’s hard to sit it out while waiting for an injury to heal. You risk setting back training and racing goals, not to mention losing a sweet endorphin rush. But whatever ails you will take longer to heal — or get worse — if you run through the pain.

• Layer up when it’s cold.
It’s easy to see the weather and darkness as a reason not to work out. Buy clothes like a moisture-wicking base layer, gloves, and a breathable wind-blocking top to make training outside a lot more enjoyable. It also gives you flexibility to remove layers as you heat up. A good rule of thumb is to dress for 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.