Six Tips for Getting Back into Running
With gyms shuttered, parks closed and only so many online workout classes one can tolerate in their living room, going for a run outside provides an easy way to get some exercise and much-needed fresh air. If you are revisiting a running routine or totally new to one, here are a few tips to help keep you rolling down those roads.
1. Picking a Route
One of the greatest things about running is that you don't need much to get out there - really just shoes! But it can be nice to have a route planned before you head out as well. With a route in mind, you won't get lost (hopefully!), can plan to stay on specific terrain like trails and you'll know how far you are going. If it's sunny don't forget your sunscreen and headwear.
The most beneficial time to stretch is after your run when your muscles are warmest. With muscles warmed up, you can achieve the deepest stretches and also focus on areas that might have gotten tight during your run. To start a stretching routine, hone in on big muscles like quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes. Focus on active stretching like ankle rolls, high knees, or side-to-side lunges rather than static holds (save those for your post-run!).
Everyone has their own style of running; their own natural gait inherited by their cave men and women ancestors when they were running from wooly mammoths (Oh those animals were herbivores? Well, you still got my point, didn't you?). While that form works just fine, there are a few posture adjustments that can make your running even more efficient. Keep your eyes set out in front of you about 15 feet, try to land on the ball of your foot, and keep your core tight to avoid leaning too far forward or backwards.
Whew! This is a hard one. It's important to take deep enough breaths for your muscles to get the needed oxygen but your breathing shouldn't be your main focus of your run (obviously, it's finding cute dogs to wave at from a distance). If you feel your breathing is getting out of control or hard to manage, try setting it to your steps; breathe in for four steps, out for four, repeat. This method not only helps regulate breathing, but brings the focus back to your form.
If you're running in a location where you can safely listen to music, adding some tunes to your run can help provide an extra boost of energy and find a rhythm to set your steps to. Our Marketer, Ian, put together some awesome playlists you can check out here. You can also grab a pair of wireless headphones (for a great deal if I do say so myself) to make listening to music more comfortable.
Maybe it sounds counter-intuitive, but a little relaxation during your run goes a long way. Running is strenuous and it's easy to tense up and store that energy in your upper body. During your run try to relax your jaw, loosen your shoulders and drop your arms down to at least 90 degrees (avoid the T-Rex arms if possible.) Studies have even shown that smiling while running can improve relaxation and in turn performance, but chose this method at your own risk…people might actually think you are having fun out there.
Rob Jaworski says...
In Step 5, I think we’re missing the link to Ian-the-Marketer’s soundtracks and playlists. #bummedOn May 01, 2020