10 Running Tips You Need to Know
If you are planning to take up running, you need to know the basics that will keep you safe from injuries, add to your comfort, improve your running experience and help you adapt to various conditions. You need to know this:
1. Choose the appropriate footwear. Make sure that both your socks and shoes are comfortable and fairly lightweight but at the same time support your feet. The socks should be of natural materials so your feet can breathe. If you bought new running shoes, run in them at least a length of 10 miles before using them for a race, if you decide to compete. Anyhow, don’t try to save on your running shoes. You might have to pay a little more than you are used to, but investing in comfort and safety has never been a dumb choice.
2. Wear the appropriate clothes. This means dressing with regard to the season of the year and the temperature. For instance, in winter time you should wear clothes in layers, a combination of cotton and wool, and the most important thing is that you wear a turtle neck to protect you from the wind. You should also protect your head by wearing a cap or a ski mask. When it’s summer, things might even become harder because the heat makes it horribly difficult to dress and run. Be sure you choose white or some other light color for your clothes and cover your head with a hat or something else you find comfortable.
3. Eat your breakfast. This is one of the most important tips. If you are planning to run, especially if the route is long, you will need energy. According to Girard Eberle, a sports dietitian and nutrition therapist, you should eat a meal rich in carbohydrates around 2-3 hours before you go out for a run, even if it means getting up very early and going back to sleep. This is advised because the brain uses the stored carbohydrate from your liver during your sleep and leaves you without much fuel when you wake up. Therefore, breakfast is very important to be able to run efficiently and not have energy drops which could cause you to faint. A couple hundreds of calories are an optimal amount.
4. Try going to the toilet before your run. Emptying your colon would be wise, because if you don’t you might experience some cramping and maybe even diarrhea.
5. Hydrate. Hydration is very important, especially because you lose a lot of fluids through sweat while running. But always drink fluids that don’t contain sugar. The obvious choice is water, but you can also drink tea or some natural fruit juice. Girard Eberle suggests drinking sports drinks, because they are trice as effective as water when it comes to hydrating and replenishing on carbohydrates and electrolytes. If you can’t run with a bottle, place a couple of them on your running route. Also, drink around 13 ounces of water or sports drink 15 minutes before you start running.
6. Be consistent. Running only once in a while will neither help you strengthen your character nor will it improve your body’s ability to melt fat. However, if you stay consistent and run every day, or a specific number of days in a week, that is a whole different story. It will give you a sense of habit, so it will come easy to you. Running will become an activity as normal as drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Besides, if you run regularly, you will be in better shape and it will definitely show on your body. Another useful tip about consistency is to run at the same time each day, so the habit becomes stronger and more developed.
7. Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol and working out have never gone hand in hand, and this is not an exception. Drinking alcohol the night before you run will make you significantly less able to fulfill your daily workout plan. The first reason is that alcohol disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and you will probably wake up tired, and the second – you will probably wake up dehydrated and have a difficult time to rehydrate before and during your run, while recovering from muscle tension will also be more difficult.
8. Make sure you rest enough. When training, rest is an equally important factor as exercising because your muscles need time to repair and recover. Don’t over-train just because you feel you have enough energy – you will feel the consequences later. Also, make sure you get enough sleep during the night.
9. Breathe with your diaphragm. To do this successfully, you will need some practice. Breathe the air in and fill your belly with it, and then exhale while gently flexing your abdominal muscles. This way breathing will actually help you build up your stamina.
10. Commit to healthier eating habits. To be able to run the way you want, you need energy and you need a healthy diet. Your nutrition should be based mostly on proteins and healthy carbohydrates. Proteins should be most eaten for breakfast, while the carbohydrates are there to help you recover after your run. Eating junk food will not give you the wanted results and you will probably be too sluggish to run if your diet is unhealthy.