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362: How To Become A More Efficient Runner

Jun 06, 2024

In a world obsessed with hacks and shortcuts, it’s crucial to focus on what genuinely matters to achieve both short-term and long-term progress. Let's cut through the noise and focus on what truly moves the needle so you can use your time more effectively and become a more efficient runner.


These days, social media loves a good before and after story. However, these stories often mislead by leaving out the often challenging and incremental journey in between. From couch to marathon in three weeks? That’s just not realistic. Many so-called experts push the latest trick for faster results, but in this episode, we aim to debunk these myths and present sustainable strategies.


Understanding Efficiency

To become an efficient runner, prioritize what genuinely helps you progress. Consistency, above everything else, is key. Continuous shortcuts and hacks ultimately don’t work. The more efficient runner maintains consistency over months and even years, rather than focusing on instant results.

Variety in training is also important but should not be confused with continuous change. Consistency should come first, and the variety should be carefully integrated to avoid overwhelming complications. It’s a myth that soreness equates to improvement. Instead, efficiency often comes through steady, albeit boring consistency.


The Importance of Running Form and Strength

Efficient running involves more than just running more. It’s about optimizing your body’s motion. This requires strength training and mobility work to support your running form. Without these elements, you might find yourself flailing, wasting energy, and becoming prone to injuries.


Key Points:

  • Strength: Helps stabilize your body.
  • Mobility: Ensures proper motion, reducing compensations and inefficiencies.
  • Running Form Drills: Teach your body correct movements, promoting neuromuscular adaptations.


Mastering Consistency and Incremental Gains

One of the challenges many runners face is the belief that to get faster or build endurance, they must constantly push harder and increase mileage. However, this approach often leads to injuries. Consistent, small improvements are more sustainable. Think of it like juggling—you need to master throwing and catching one ball before moving to two or three.


Efficient Training Strategies

Here are three main strategies to become a more efficient runner:

1. Consistent Yet Varied Training

Your training should include a balance of easy runs, strength training, and some harder efforts. Consistency means regularly showing up and putting in the work, without making every run or workout overly intense. This ensures that your body can adapt and grow stronger over time without breaking down.

2. Prioritize Strength and Mobility

Strength training and mobility work are often overlooked but are critical for an efficient running form. Not only do they reduce injury risks, but they also improve the economy of your movements, making each stride more effective.

3. Recovery is Key

Allowing adequate recovery is crucial. This means integrating rest days and ensuring you get enough sleep and proper nutrition. Effective recovery lets your body reap the benefits of your workouts, ultimately building fitness.

Fueling your body correctly is as important as the workouts themselves. Proper daily nutrition, hydration, and possibly mid-workout fueling (for longer or more intense runs) are essential for building and maintaining fitness levels. 

So, to become a more efficient runner:

  • Focus on consistency over time.
  • Include variety without overwhelming complexity.
  • Perform strength and mobility exercises to support your running form.
  • Ensure proper recovery with rest days, good sleep, and balanced nutrition.

Becoming an efficient runner isn’t about quick fixes or magical workouts. It’s about consistent, intelligent training paired with proper nutrition and recovery. Building these habits will not only make you a better runner but will also enhance your overall well-being.


Stay tuned for our next few episodes where we will dive a bit deeper into these topics!

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