Get off on the right foot with our guide to running
Are you an avid 10k runner, or do you prefer a gentle jog? Whichever running category you fall into, we’ve put together our top tips on how to improve your runs and overall cardio fitness. Whether you’re looking to increase your performance, train for a half-marathon or just make running more enjoyable, we hope these tips help you to go the extra mile.
If you find running gives you an extra push to get through even the hardest runs, you aren’t alone. Music can reduce feelings of fatigue, resulting in you running for longer. It can increases psychological arousal and improve co-ordination, ensuring you perform at higher levels in your training session. Make sure you experiment with different songs and find what works best for you. Music also elevates your mood state, making running a more pleasurable experience.
Warm up well
Warming up is essential to ensuring you have a successful run without injury. It’ll give you a greater freedom of movement and you’ll feel better for it too! Give these simple stretches below a go before your next run:
Toe Scrunch – Place your naked foot on a towel and drag it back towards you by pressing the foot down and curling your toes. This may help to strengthen the muscles and connective tissues in the sole of the foot, helping to prevent plantar fasciitis that afflicts a lot of runners.
Roll With It – Lay on your side with a foam roller underneath you, just below your hip. Cross the top leg over and put the foot down and also place the hands on the floor for stability. Use your arms to move your body forwards and backwards over the roller so it rolls from just below the hip to just above the knee. This exercise helps to release the ilio-tibial band, a sheath of connective tissue on the outside of the thigh that can become tight in runners, causing pain.
Right on Recovery
Did you know that dehydration increases the chance of developing exercise-related health conditions? To stay hydrated, ensure to drink plenty of water before your run, take a bottle with you, and drink plenty after running too. Replacing lost fluid promotes the removal of toxins and waste products from your muscles, so speeding your recovery. It’s a win win!
To help recovery, try hot and cold water therapy to reap the benefits. While showering after training, set the temperature as hot as is comfortable for 2 minutes then immediately follow this with 30 seconds of cold water, and repeat 4-5 times. Don’t forget that good quality sleep is essential as this is the time when your body will build and repair tissue. Read our tips on how to get a good night’s sleep and catch those much-needed zzzz’s, in our blog.
Consider The Environment
Sometimes, the weather is just not on our side. If it’s a really hot day (we can dream!) then you might be more likely to sweat more, which leads to water loss and dehydration. If you feel dizzy, nauseas or confused, make sure to stop immediately. If it’s windy, this can alter the intensity of your training session, so simply adjust your workout by either shortening the distance covered or allowing more time to complete it. If it’s raining (more likely!) then make sure you’re extra cautious to avoid slipping.