10 tips to Make Running Easier
By: Amanda Cubello
1. Invest in Proper Running ShoeS
To avoid painful blisters and injuries, take the time to find the right shoe for you. The shape of your foot, running goals, and budget all play a part in finding the perfect sneaker. If you’re unsure on which shoe is best, try heading to the local running store for expert advice.
2. Fuel your body
Try eating a light snack 1.5 hours before your run. This will give your body enough time for digestion while providing you with the needed energy to get through your miles. Stick to complex carbs and stay between 200-400 calories so your body can digest. Some good snacks are a banana, half of a peanut butter sandwich, or yogurt & granola.
3. Control your Breathing
The most frequent mistake runners’ mistake is breathing too much. While it seems natural for us to want to take in more oxygen, it doesn’t allow our bodies to release all of the CO2 stored in our lungs – which results in actually receiving less oxygen. For more controlled breathing, try inhaling for three steps, exhale for two, while continuously using your nose and mouth. In the cooler months it’s beneficial to utilize nose breathing because your nose warms the air before it reaches your lungs.
Stretching after a run will not only help your body cool down and recover, but it will also increase your flexibility. It’s best to do your stretches after your run because the muscle tissue becomes more flexible, making you less prone to injury.
Need some examples? Try these!
5. Incorporate Sprint Training
Adding sprints to your weekly training will improve your muscle strength resulting in more power and production for distance running. Because sprints increase your maximal oxygen intake and endurance capacity, you’ll be able to run for a longer period of time before you feel fatigued.
6. Have a plan
Start your training by formulating personal goals and how you intend to reach them. By writing them down, you’ll be able to focus and have a clear training regimen to stick to. What kind of runner do you want to be; are you looking to compete in a marathon or a 5k in your hometown? Or maybe you just like to run to clear your mind. There’s no wrong way to running, but figuring out your end goals will be beneficial to creating a plan to reach them.
7. Use Geographical points as Motivators
Try not to focus on your time or miles. Instead, use landmarks to guide your run. For example, tell yourself to make it to the next stop sign, park, or lake. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed with the distance as a whole, while giving you a sense of empowerment when you reach each of those landmarks.
8. Stay Hydrated
While this is a no-brainer, it’s the easiest step to pay less attention to. While keeping a bottle of water handy while exercising is a good way to staying hydrated, it may not be enough water for your body to stay energized throughout the day. Dehydration not negatively impacts your running performance but it also impacts the way your body recovers for the next day.
9. Take Rest Days
Resting is just as important as performing. When running, it’s best to train every other day so your muscles have a chance to recover properly. However, rest days don’t have to a day of no exercising. Utilize these days for yoga, abs, or taking a leisurely walk.
10. Keep Running
This may seem obvious but the only way to become a stronger runner is to run frequently. At first, it will be a struggle and you may feel like you’ll never be able to reach your goal, but with each day, your muscles will strengthen and your distance will lengthen.
By: Amanda Cubello | @amanda_cubello
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