5 Tips to Get More out of Your Run

Author: Lindsay Atkinson

Many of us have been waiting months for this, and it’s finally here – running season! Running improves heart health, helps with weight management, releases stress and can even help strengthen your bones and more!

Even though I like it, running can be tough on your body, it’s not for everyone. It applies a force of 2.5 times your body weight to your joints. Listen to your body, if you’re tired or sore stop and rest.

Try these 5 tips to get the most out of your run:

1) Warm-up and cool-down.

As with any exercise, warming-up helps prevent injuries & overstressing the muscles. Click here to read more about the importance for warming up. After each run, stretch your legs well (quads, hamstrings and don’t forget your calves); foam rolling is a great tool for runners.

Running Shoes2) Start out Slowly.

When starting out, try a pattern of jogging for 2 minutes / walking for 1 minute for ~20 minutes. Gradually increase to more running/less walking until you can run continuously for 20-30 minutes. Try running 2-3 weekly for maximum health benefits.

3) Switch it up!

Over-training with any one type of exercise may strain your joints & muscles. Pair running with lower impact activities (swimming, cycling, yoga), and weight training to build up the muscles you need for running. Leg training is important, but having a strong core is crucial to your running performance, as well as your general health. Refer to my blog The ‘Core’ Fundamentals  for more information on core strength.

4) Stay hydrated.

Be sure to drink at least 250mL of water 30 minutes before your run. If you’ll be gone for more the 30 minutes, bring a small backpack with some fluids to stay hydrated throughout the run. This will help you prevent headaches and cramping that sometimes results from dehydration. Within one hour after your run, drink between 500mL – 1L.

5) Take time to recover.

Those of you who train with me, know I’m big on you getting 2 rest days weekly. Rest days are as important as training days because they help prevent injury and are essential for your performance and continued improvement. Your body strengthens and repairs itself in time-off between workouts; continuous training can weaken even the strongest athletes.

If you have any additional running tips you benefit from, please share them with me.