If your New Year’s resolution was to take up running, it’s likely that after six weeks you are ready to take it to the next level. Running can be quite boring if you take the same routes and don’t challenge yourself, so here are six ways to up your running game.
Make Sure to Stay Hydrated
Remaining properly hydrated during your run is paramount to achieving your best performance, especially if you are running for longer distances. Staying hydrated during your run will prevent stitches, fatigue, weakness and injury. There are many ways you can stay hydrated while running, if you feel like you will need a lot of water for a long run, a hydration vest may be the best choice for you. If you aren’t going to be running for that long and don’t want to carry too much weight with you, a small handheld bottle or waist belt may be a better option.
The key to becoming a proficient runner is determination and dedication, but if you need a little inspiration to kindle the flame of determination, that’s okay too! It can be useful to remind yourself before you start a run, why you’re doing this. Many people like to create Pinterest boards dedicated to inspirational running figures or motivational workout quotes. This way, whether your aim is to lose weight or simply to get stronger, you can create a personalized motivational board, just for you.
Play the Right Music with the Right Headphones
The right music can be the ultimate game-changer. While running in silence can be peaceful and meditative to some, if you are really looking to pump yourself up to get faster or run for longer, curating your own motivational running playlist is the way to go. Before you make your playlist however, you’ll need the right headphones, preferably small ones with comply foam sport tips, that stay snugly fitted into your ear for the ultimate listening experience.
Eat the Right Food
Your diet can really affect your workout. What you eat and when you eat it can have a substantial impact on how you feel and perform whilst running, so it’s important to do your research and get it right. As a general rule, if you have eaten a large meal, you shouldn’t run for at least two hours, to let your meal digest and avoid potentially vomiting. If you’ve eaten a small snack, you can normally wait for only half an hour. Healthy, filling foods that are rich in carbohydrates and protein, such as bananas, protein shakes, baked potatoes or a fresh smoothie are all excellent options to fuel your run.
Don’t Forget to Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Many people forget these crucial steps when beginning or ending a run, but research has shown that they can make an impact on how you perform. Warming up before a run stretches your muscles and generates a little heat so you are less stiff. This means that you are less likely to develop a stitch or pull a muscle while running and you are more able to run faster for longer.
Cooling down is normally overlooked in favor of collapsing on the couch with a bottle of water, but it is as equally important as warming up. Doing light stretches and breathing exercises to cool down after a run will help to avoid dizziness, remove waste materials such as lactic acid, and prevents the pooling of blood in large muscles.