Ok, this title might be a bit deceiving. While you may not ever love running, you might find it more tolerable and maybe a little enjoyable after reading this post. Whether you are signing up for your first race, upping your mileage, or looking for new ways to stay motivated, we have some tricks for you the next time you tie up those laces.
1. Getting up the hill. Alive.
When you come upon a big hill, focus on your running technique to propel yourself to the top. You do not have to maintain the same pace as you do on a flat course, just the same effort. Take smaller steps more frequently and maintain an upright posture. Your hips should have a slight forward tilt and use your arms. With a loose fist and elbows close to your sides, move your arms so your hands reach your underarms at the top of the swing and your hip line at the bottom. Avoid swinging your arms across your chest. Adding hills to your run will improve your overall strength and endurance for flat terrain. Each hill you conquer will boost your confidence for the next.
2. Be blister-free
It is important to note that feet swell during runs. Keeping this in mind, your running shoes should be about a half size larger than your street shoes and the width should not feel too tight. If your feet sweat, you can use a thick emollient such as BodyGlide to coat your toes and heels. Most find Vaseline too thin. You can also try spraying your bare feet with an antiperspirant or foot powder and wear moisture-wicking socks. Allow at least three weeks to break in new shoes before a race. If you insist on buying the latest and greatest models, know your foot type so you choose a shoe that supports either a high arch, normal arch, or flat foot. Start with low mileage in your new kicks and gradually increase each week to avoid blisters.
3. Experience the runner’s high
Training and fueling are your tools to help you avoid hitting the wall. Your body uses stored carbohydrates as energy for your run. When your brain senses your levels are low, it tells your body to slow down. Eating a meal or snack with a balance of healthy carbs, protein, and fat about an hour or two before you run can prevent fatigue. Also be sure to drink water before, during, and after a run to avoid dehydration and cramping.
4. Recover quickly
Take care of your body immediately following a run so you can get back out there again soon. Refuel with a small meal or snack that includes a mix of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat. A good example is a glass of chocolate milk or a banana and peanut butter. Take care of your legs with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for fifteen minutes, within an hour or two of finishing. Stretching and using a foam roll also encourages blood flow to your muscles for a faster recovery.
5. Find a running buddy
Having a workout partner holds you accountable for your runs so you can stay on track with your goals. Your run buddy may hold the same pace as you, or he or she might be slightly faster or slower. In any case, both encouragement from a speedier friend or offering motivation for a friend falling off pace are beneficial for your own training. You might consider joining a local running group or club. Many offer meet up times various days during the week and weekends and are usually inexpensive. Most only require a low annual fee and you can show up at any meetup times they offer. You might even receive a free t-shirt! Enjoy the company of your fellow runners and swap stories and advice from all of your running experiences.
Evolve Gym offers training programs including strength and conditioning to help you cross the finish line. We’ll help you run longer, faster, and stronger!