Whether you’re training for a big event like a marathon or just staying fit as part of your regular routine, it’s important to stay strong, injury-free and as elastic as you can. The best way to ensure that this happens is by running healthily. Here are some helpful tips that can keep you running at full efficiency.
The importance of stretching
Running involves muscles relaxing and contracting, which causes them to shorten and tighten. Having muscles that are too tight can increase the risk of pulling a muscle or straining yourself. Regular stretching, not just before you start your run but also throughout, can help reduce the likelihood of these types of injuries. Doing the stretch with the help of athletic tapes increases its effects and helps your muscles warm up faster.
Unless you’re brave enough to run barefoot, good quality footwear is a necessity if you’re a runner. If not, you could face damaged bones, tendons, muscles and joints. Specialist shops can help talk you through your personal shoe needs, and if the price is quite high, ask how many miles you can expect the shoes to last. Typically, they last at least 300 miles and up to 800.
Have a break – and know how it affects you
It is important to have regular small breaks from running. That’s because overusing your body is the leading cause of serious running injuries, such as joint injuries that, in many cases, can stop you running for years. And, if you have a bigger break than normal, don’t just jump back into your regular routine. Your body has to work up to handle the stress that a long run can put on it. Try to gradually increase your distance by about 10% each week.
Treat yourself to some professional help
If you’ve been running for a while, your body may need some professional attention. Just as you’d service a well-used car or check-up on your teeth every so often, it’s important to give your body some care and attention. This could be via regular sports massages or even by having specialists such as Big Foot and Ankle assess any small pains you have. Professional help can give you a real boost, especially if you are training for a race.
Hydration, hydration, hydration!
It is essential that you stay hydrated when running, as a lot of fluid is lost from your body by sweating and even exhaling. Not keeping on top of your fluids can cause nausea, fatigue and headaches, not to mention not performing your best. Caffeine-free drinks are also recommended, as those containing caffeine can dehydrate you further.
Eat lots of protein
While most people think of weight-lifters when they think of high-protein diets, proteins are very important for runners. Your body may use protein as an energy source, but also needs it to replace tissue that has experienced micro-tears, and failure to do so can cause overuse injuries.
If you’re a runner, you may view the sport as an important part of your life. Keep these tips in mind to avoid having that part of your life taken from you due to injuries that may not have needed to happen. A healthy runner can enjoy a long and fulfilling life doing the exercise they love.