4. Stay Hydrated.
Nothing is as important as staying hydrated, not only while you are working out, but also while you are at the racetrack. Your body will sweat to try to cool itself off. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water or a sports drink. The day before a big race, I make an extra effort to drink lots of water throughout the day. Then, the day of the race, I try to drink water or a sports drink throughout the day. During the actual race, I will drink watered down Gatorade because Gatorade has the electrolytes that your body has lost when it sweats, but it also has too much sugar for my taste, so I counteract this by adding more water. I've even gone so far as to modify my in-car container to a larger version that will hold more liquid. During an extremely hot, long race, I drink the entire contents of the smaller container in the first 20 laps, leaving virtually nothing for the last 230 laps. So bigger is better.

5. Change up your workout routine.
Once you get up and running with a workout routine, don't do the same exercises over and over each day when lifting weights. One day you might work on biceps and triceps, while the next day you can work on the shoulders and chest. And don't forget your lower body. As racers, we know we need good upper body strength, but we also need to give our legs a regular workout as well.

6. Eat healthier.
This is hard to do as a racer, because racetrack food has never been known for being healthy. That doesn't mean, though, that what you eat outside of the track has to be unhealthy. Avoid greasy and high-fat foods. One of the best things you can eat the night before a big race is some type of pasta. While pasta gets a bad rap for being high in carbs, these very carbs will give you loads of energy for the next day.

7. Set a schedule.
Once you start to get into a routine you will actually find that you miss it on days that you don't get to work out. This is why it is extremely important to set a schedule when you are going to work out. This might be before work, during a lunch break at work, or even after dinner. The important thing is that you make it a priority in your life. It's very easy to skip the workout when time gets tight. But be firm. Set a schedule and stick to it.

8. Running is the best exercise, but walking can be just as beneficial.
Running really is the best overall exercise for your body, but taking a simple 30 minute walk can do just as much good. This might also be a good time to spend some time with a family member. Adding a friend or family member can help break up the boredom and can also give you moral support to continue the workout.

9. Working out doesn't require a drastic change in lifestyle.
In reality we're only talking about 30 minutes five times a week. The nice thing is you can break it up. It can be a 10 minute run during your lunch break, a 10 minute walk after dinner, and then a 10 minute session of one-on-one basketball later that evening. Notice how even though it is only 10 minutes each time, you are still staying active throughout the day.

10. Start today.
You will find every reason in the book not to start. Trust me, I have found them all. But if you are really serious about wanting to run better, then this is one area you will need to look at seriously in order to have every advantage against the competition. You will not only improve your performance at the track but also start living a healthier lifestyle.

The American College of Sports Medicine Georgia State University