Written by MindMate Staff
Running is an ideal sport for people of any age - you need very little training or experience to get started, it doesn’t require expensive equipment, and you can run anytime and anywhere! Best of all, running is a full body exercise that works and strengthens both your cardiovascular system and your muscles. Like any other sport though, improving your running requires dedication to hours of practice, but whether you’re a veteran marathon runner or just starting out, there’s plenty of tips and tricks to speed you along on your journey. Here’s a few ideas:
and running is a delicate balance, that must be carefully mastered for your workout to be most effective. Of course, it’s not a good idea to run on an empty stomach as your muscles will be starved of energy and you’ll soon find yourself running out of steam, but equally its crucial to allow your body time to digest food if you don’t want
If you eat a large meal before a run, wait at least three hours before you head out. Almost nothing you eat immediately before a run will digest enough to give you energy during your run. If you do have to eat, choose something your system can easily absorb, such as a banana, a few spoonfuls of peanut butter or honey, or a handful of dried fruit.
2. Fill up on Water
Hydration is absolutely essential to effective performance in any physical activity, without it your muscles won’t get the nutrients they need, you’ll be more vulnerable to cramps, aches and pains, and you’ll get more tired, sooner. For maximum effectiveness, it’s recommended that you drink at least 8 oz. of water prior to your workout, or consider taking a water bottle with you if you are running longer distances.
3. Equip Yourself
Running is a relatively inexpensive hobby, but one thing that is essential is \a good pair of running trainers. It’s super important to invest in a comfortable, durable pair that will properly support your feet. This will help maximize your comfort and minimize your aches, pains and injuries. The best way to be sure to find the right pair for you is to visit your local running shop and ask for advice on choosing your first pair. You’ll then need to ensure that they stay in good condition and consider replacing your running shoes every six months or yearly, depending on how much you are running.
Whether you’re brand new to running or a marathon veteran, you should always ensure you properly warm up before running any distance. Not only will this help you run more comfortably, but you will also loosen and relax your muscles which will help them recover and prevent aches, pains and strains that could be setbacks to achieving your fitness goals. Ankle rolls, hip rotations, and knee circles are just a few great exercises to get your muscles ready for exercise, as well as traditional stretches.
5.Watch your Pace
Keeping a steady pace is super important, especially for beginner runners. If you are constantly slowing down and speeding up, it forces your muscles, your heart and your lungs to work harder and quickly depletes your stamina. The trick to running for longer is to slowly build up to a comfortable pace and then allow your body to adjust and maintain the pace for as long as you are able.
6. Warm Down
After a three to five minute cool down jog, stretch thoroughly. Don't just jump back into your car and head off to your next event, or you could be walking around with tight legs for the rest of the day. Doing a cool down and stretching period allows the lactic acid (the byproduct created by your muscles) to be flushed out into your bloodstream and eliminated from your body.
7. Drink Well
When you exercise and break a sweat, your body loses a tremendous amount of water. That’s why it’s super important to stay hydrated all day following exercise, so that your body can replenish its supply and maintain enough water for all its basic functions. Aim for the recommended 8 to 10 glasses per day, even when not doing physical exercise, it’s always great to build healthy habits!
8. Eat Well
You’ve done the hard part and completed your workout – great! But to really see the true benefits of your efforts, it’s important to supplement your workout with the right post-run meal. The biggest mistake many people make is assuming that they can eat junk food because they have done exercise that day. The truth is, to recover properly your body needs a healthy balance of proteins and vegetables. This will provide it with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to reenergize and prepare you for your next workout, whenever that may be.