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GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR RUNS
By: Danielle Pascente
It’s easy to fall into the same old running routine. You set out on the same route at the same time and your runs suddenly become less productive than usual. I like to call it a runner’s rut. Here are five things I have found helpful to get the most out of your runs. With a few slight changes, you will be off and running in no time!
Timing: Go at your personal most productive time of the day. For me, it’s right when the sun rises. No noise, no traffic, cool air, no stress.
Stretch: Get a light stretch in before your run. Warming up your muscles will be key to a nice steady run with no cramping. My favorite pre-run stretches are the basic calf, quadriceps and hamstring stretch. For my upper body, I like to just do arm circles forward and backward.
Hydration: Drink plenty of water every day, but most importantly on days before long runs. Anywhere from 2-3 liters is best. For longer runs, make sure you are staying hydrated along the way. Climate can play into this as well so check the weather before heading out on a long run. Warm and humid climates will require more hydration. There are many “water pack” products on the market, and for long runs, I highly recommend the belt pack (one that can go around the waist), or a hand-held (that straps around your hand).
Mental Preparation: Take time to “get in the zone.” Even if it is just during your warmup stretch, think about your goal. How many miles do you want to run? Where are you going? How do you want to pace yourself? Create positive outcomes for each of your goals. You are more likely to have a great run if you can see yourself successfully completing it. Close your eyes and envision just that!
Music: Having the right music can really make or break a run! If you know you are the type of person this applies to, make a running playlist with all of your upbeat favorites. Putting your music device on shuffle is easy, yes. But when that slow, sappy love song comes on, there’s nothing more annoying than having to press next, and then again, and again, along your run. It cuts into the continuity of a run. My best advice is either tune in (create a specified play-list) or completely tune out (nothing but you and your run). MS&F
*Photo by James Patrick, JamesPatrick.com