What are some healthy, proven ways to improve your running?

• Increase the number of miles you run.
The most important thing you can do to improve your running is to get out of your comfort zone by increasing the distance of your longest run. If your longest run is 5 miles, add a mile a week until you get to 10 miles and then increase it by 2 miles a week.

• Increase the amount of days you run.
If you are running three days a week, you might try adding a day for a month and see how your body handles the extra work. If you are running four days, move up to five to see if you can handle that amount of running.

• Add some speed to your training.
If you never run any faster than a jog, try this: Go to a track and practice running fast on the straightaways and jog the curves. When this gets comfortable, increase the distance of your fastrunning and decrease the jogging until you can run “fast” for a complete lap. You can do this on a bike path or the road. Just use your watch to note the distance and work up to running up to a quarter-mile fast and jog an equal amount.

• Do some hill running.
Find a steep hill and at the end of one of your easy runs, run hard up the hill and then jog back down. Try these hill runs three or four times to start and then work up to seven or eight hill repeats once a week.

• Work on your form.
On your easy recovery runs, focus on good posture, a balanced-rhythmic stride and being lighter on your feet.

• Have a secret goal.
We all have some personal running goals, whether it’s a faster time in a race or a longer distance. What’s yours? What are you waiting for?