Running takes commitment, and over time, it becomes more than just a routine; it becomes a lifestyle. But like all things, you need to set up habits to take the guess work out of things. Here’s a list of 5 things that every runner should be doing until they become the everyday norm.
Stretch Post Run: It’s important to stretch post run. Stretching warm muscles versus stretching cold will take away from the risk of injury when stretching. It will let you move around some of the lactic acid buildup on your muscles and let you cool down effectively.
Warming up Thoroughly: Everyone is crunched for time, and running is no different. But a good warm-up will help to avoid injury and mid run cramps. It will also allow for a harder workout as it lets the body know what’s coming.
Breathing With the Belly: Many runners are chest breathers, but to get the most out of your run, try to breath through expansion of your belly. Take deep slow breaths through your nose and release it through your mouth. Concentrating on breathing effectively will help increase lung capacity and enable you to push yourself farther and eventually stop running out of breathe.
Running with Good Form: It’s easy to get lazy, especially when you start to tire, but good form allows you to get a better workout and helps to prevent energy. If you catch yourself starting to slouch, lean or just generally not feel like you are in the game, there is nothing wrong with slowing it down or moving into a walk. It’s far better to be getting good form and engaging your whole body that to work with poor form.
Taking Days Off: You’ve heard it again and again, and it’s true every time. You need to take a day off every now and then. It’s best to build it into your routine, and if your feeling tired, then listen to your body. Don’t try to push yourself when your tired or sick. It’s one thing to know how to push yourself; it’s another to run yourself into injury.
Learning Patience: The body doesn’t like running at first. It takes time to build endurance, and once you’ve got it, it can be a pain to lose it. But sometimes, you get hurt, and when taking a day or two off isn’t enough, you’ll have to face facts: you’re injured, need help, and have to let yourself heal. It can be tough when you can’t run, especially when your used to it, but understand that forty years of running is worth a little time off.
It’s important for running to stay fun and it’s necessary to do it consistently to get over the little bumps in the road. But when you build good habits, the routine will get easier and allow you to push yourself in a variety of different ways and run in new venues.