How to Be a Better Runner in 2024: 14 Favorite Rundown Stories

Ready to learn how to be a better runner in 2024? 
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Even if you don't make New Year's resolutions, chances are pretty good you've thought about things like...

  • Training & fueling strategies
  • Running gear & apparel upgrades
  • Mindset & motivation to go the distance

With the right ingredients, you could run your way through 2024 like a pro, set PRs, rack up more medals, and add some sweet swag and T-shirts to your spoils from finishing races.
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Sounds pretty good, right? So how do you get from where you are to where you want to be as a runner?
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We sifted through the most popular stories from The Rundown in 2023 to bring it to you.
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Check out these 14 favorite stories from The Rundown about gear, training and motivation to get started...

TRAINING TIPS

Looking for a recovery drink to help you bounce back after a run? You know...

  • You crush a training run or workout drenched in sweat. 
  • You run fast, long, hard or all three, until there’s nothing left in the tank. 
  • Or maybe you cross the finish line feeling like you’ve left everything on the course.

All the hard work you put in to get from where you are to where you want to be makes a difference. But what you do AFTER you’re done is just as important.
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If you want to bounce back faster, rehydrate, and limit the amount of time you’re feeling tired, sore, or exhausted after a run or workout, add one of THESE recovery drink to your post-run recovery plans. 

Can single-leg exercises help runners improve strength and balance and boost performance?
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After all, running is a single-leg activity.
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Think about it like this...
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🦶 One of your feet is moving through space...
🦶 While the other foot is planted on the ground. 
🦶 Sometimes both feet are simultaneously in the air...
🦶 While neither one is rooted as one propels and one sets up for its landing.

In this way, running can be described as a single-legged activity, perhaps even as a series of forward-moving jumps.
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And you can train your brain and body to get better at this. Here's how...

Ever feel like you’re the only runner around? 

  • Maybe you’ve just moved to a new area. You’re on vacation. Or you’ve been running solo for a long time and DECIDE it’s time to connect with other runners.
  • And you’re wondering….Are there any running clubs near me?

Fun fact: An estimated 12 million people a year in the U.S. run 5Ks, half marathons, and 26.2-mile marathons. And the list is even bigger if you add ultramarathons.
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With that many runners signing up for races and many more running for health and fitness, there’s an easy answer to the question:
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Are there any running clubs near me? Yes, yes there are. Use these tips to find a group to run with:

Does your running shoe rotation look anything like this?

  • Wear one pair of shoes until you’re using duct tape and superglue to hold them together?
  • Have a major shoe addiction always on the hunt for the newest shoe tech, colorway, or fit?
  • Or maybe you're a little of both?

👉If you run at least 2-3 times per week with any regularity, you could benefit from a running shoe rotation.
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With a couple pairs of running shoes in your closet, you can reduce injury risk, make your shoes last longer, tailor your shoe choice to daily running goals and more...
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Want to learn how to create your own running shoe rotation? Here's what you need to know...

You’re on the hunt for the perfect running shoe, and you narrow it down to two choices: Nike vs Asics.
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Now what? How do you decide which one to run with to go the distance, train, race, and treat your feet, knees and joints with the respect they deserve?
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Runner and engineer Dan Purdy, decided you never leave anything to chance—especially something as important as choosing running shoes for all the long and hard miles ahead. 
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So he took a long hard look at the Nike vs Asics debate, run-tested the shoes for miles, and discovered some surprising reasons it was time for him to make a switch.  Here's what he learned...

RUNNING GEAR

When Brynn Cunningham started crushing long runs that lasted more than two hours, she realized she needed a way to stay hydrated to go the distance.

  • She burned through a long list of larger hand-held bottles. She tried carrying two 24-ounce bottles for a trail 25K. 
  • But that wasn't efficient. Longing for free hands, she needed a different fueling solution. 
  • Then she ran with a hip pack until it practically disintegrated.

When she retired the hip pack and started running ultras, she went in search of the perfect running vest. 
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Here's what she found...

Got a running tank top to help keep you cool during the warmer-weather months?
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Maybe it's time to get one or retire the one's you've been using. Yes?
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In this article, runner Brynn Cunningham wear-tests 5 running tank tops and gives you her take on what works best for all the fun that comes with running in warm weather.
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You know...sweat, glaring sun, humidity, thunderstorms (in some areas), and how running apparel responds.
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Looking for the perfect running tank top? Here's what you need to know...

Run enough trail miles and you're bound to get beat up a little. Scrapes, cuts, bee stings, a nasty fall...it happens. Be prepared with an outdoor first aid kit.
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🏃‍♀️Have you ever been in a trail running situation where you thought:
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"Wow, that could’ve turned out better if only I had a first aid kit?"
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After witnessing some gnarly & sometimes bloody accidents on the trail, runner Brynn Cunningham decided it was time to start carrying first aid supplies.

Looking for waterproof running gear to help you stay dry in rain and snow?
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If you live in a climate where rain, snow, and inclement weather can turn an ordinary run into a slosh-fest...
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Some waterproof running gear can help you stare Mother Nature in the face and head out into the storm.
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Wondering what waterproof running gear to add to your inclement-weather arsenal of shoes and clothing?.
Check out these 13 runner-tested picks by Brynn Cunningham.

When temperatures begin to drop, before pulling on one of her favorite pairs of running pants or leggings, Brynn Cunningham grabs a long sleeve running shirt to layer on top of:

Eventually, when deep winter sets in, she's wearing it all, and the right long sleeve running shirt goes a long way in the layering game.
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Looking for a long-sleeve running shirt to log some cool-weather miles?
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Here are her top 10 picks... 

MOTIVATION

When Oregon resident Aaron Heard was running down real estate deals, the last thing on his mind was ultramarathon training.
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A couple years ago, it wasn’t even on his radar. His schedule looked a lot more like...wake up early to work. Stay up late to work. Work, work, work. Close more deals.
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There wasn’t time for ultramarathon training...or anything else for that matter.
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Ever wonder how to carve out time for ultramarathon training, even with a busy schedule?.
Here's how he did it...

Looking for some running inspiration to help you in the coming year?
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Maybe you need a little nudge, a dose of motivation, or a little running inspiration.
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If you've ever doubted your abilities, been stuck in a rut, took a long break from running, or don't know where to start, you're not alone.
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How about a little running inspiration to recharge your batteries and remind you there are no limits, as long as you keep trying?.
Check out these 21 amazing running stories...then lace up your running shoes and GO!

One look at the homepage for the Big’ Dog's Backyard Ultra Race explains almost everything you need to know about this extraordinary adventure through the backwoods of rural Bell Buckle, Tenn.
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The headline itself makes the nature of the race abundantly clear:.
“There is no finish.".
Nothing but the limits of willpower and human function can determine the extent or the winner of Big Dog's Backyard Ultra.
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Check out these 5 tips for training, mindset and motivation to go the distance...

Ever thought about running the Marine Corps Marathon?
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It’s one of the most popular 26.2-mile marathons in the world that draws an estimated 30,000 people to the starting line in Arlington, Va.
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👉But there’s something about this marathon that makes it different from a lot of other 26.2-mile races: The Blue Mile.
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When Pennsylvania runner Jen Zeigler stepped up to the starting line to run the Marine Corps Marathon a few years ago, she knew she’d reach the Blue Mile half-way through the race.
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But something happened during that one-mile section of the Marine Corps Marathon that changed her forever…

What were your favorite stories of 2023 in The Rundown?

Share your favorite stories from The Rundown in the comments.

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Evan Jensen
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SANDY, Oregon
31 Followers
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I help RUNNERS reduce injuries, fix running form, run longer & faster by strength training without running ragged. I'm a NASM...

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