Tips and Advice for Better Running

Your Extreme Running Makeover

Motivation. Gear. Weight loss. Run-a-Holic. Our experts help four runners overcome issues with each of these all-too familiar situations

Running is a Habit

Your Extreme Running Makeover // Tips and Advice for running © Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

Running is a good habit. After all, to enjoy its great health and fitness benefits, you have to run, again and again. But determination and discipline can get the best of you when bad habits creep into your training, or into your psyche, your gym, your kitchen, even your closet. The trick is to maintain the positive behaviors—those that contribute to a healthy lifestyle—while eliminating the negatives, those that don't help you much. "Smart, inspired runners can make changes," says Vonda Wright, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and marathon runner at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "These are the same runners who stay on the roads, don't miss time because of injuries, and continue to improve."

The process of changing patterns starts not on your feet, but between your ears. "You have to first say, 'Wow, there's a different way of looking at this,' " says Margaret Moore, codirector of the McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School Institute of Coaching and founder of Wellcoaches. "Then the behavior itself is more likely to change."

We matched the four runners here with experts who identified common problems and recommended better ways to train, eat, think, and gear up. The makeovers taught the runners about themselves, about the power of transformation, and about the sport. Here's how you, too, can learn from their mistakes and embark on a new year of changes of your own.

Coming out of hibernation