Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 More Running Tips For Beginning & Advanced Runners

Last week we covered the top five running tips, but there are always more ways to make running easier and more effective.  The previous article addressed starting small, choosing the right running gear, staying motivated, running when it’s right for you, and pushing through on those tough days.  This week we're continuing where we left off, with some more tips to help improve your running program - no matter what level you're at.

Stretch hips & back after running. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#1. Stretch after you run. 
Many people believe that it’s important to stretch before you run; however stretching after you run is significantly more important.  What is important to do before you run is to warm up your muscles.  This can be accomplished by walking for a few minutes.  When stretching after your run, you’ll of course want to pay attention to your leg muscles, however your neck and back muscles will benefit from a good stretch too.  Running uses your core and stretching will help you maintain proper form resulting in less pain.

#2.  Take days off.  Running every single day will actually cause you more harm than good, and may cause painful overuse injuries which will inevitably force you to take weeks if not months off from running.  If you don’t want to take a day completely off, do some form of exercise that doesn’t require using your running muscles.  Lift weights, do yoga or some other form of exercise to give your joints and muscles a well deserved rest.

#3.  Don’t try anything new on race days.  If you’re competing, it’s tempting to try a new sports nutrition item that day or to wear different clothing.  This is almost always a mistake.  Race days are the days where you do what you best know how to do.  If you want to try something new - and by all means do - it’s a great way to improve, try it on your training days.

#4.  Always tell someone where you’re running and when you’ll be back.  This is a must.  If you live alone and don’t have anyone to tell, then at least write it down and carry your cell phone and mace with you.  When you’re running many things can happen from running into a dangerous animal to being hit by a car.  It’s important to have your ID on you, a cell phone and mace or pepper spray if you’re running by yourself.

#5.  Learn running safety and follow the rules.  Running safety rules dictate that you run facing traffic.  If you’re running at night then a reflective vest and even a headlamp can help you both see where you’re going and help others see you.  It’s okay to run with music however make sure you can still hear others around you.  These are by no means all the safety rules but they’re a beginning.  Learn them and follow them to stay safe.

As you continue running you’re sure to find a few tips that work optimally for you.  Every runner has their favorite running tips.  Chat with other runners, learn from them and share. It’s part of the fun of being a runner!

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