Whether you’re a marathon pro or running newbie, May is a great time to set new goals and go the distance because it’s National Runner’s Month. As you take the next step, here are some useful tips to help you stay motivated and healthy during your running journey.
Take Time to Walk
As a new runner, it’s important to start with short running intervals. Some people think that it’s “cheating” to take a minute or two to walk during your run, but it’s not! It’s a great way to reset your body both physically and mentally before starting on your next leg. It can improve your running times and speed by conserving energy and allowing time for recovery. Rather than slowly pushing through the distance in one go, try to break up your workout with two minutes of running followed by two minutes of walking. Once you get the hang of running, increase your running intervals by one minute until your goal is reached without walking.
Don’t Start Out Too Fast
This tip goes hand in hand with the first tip, don’t start out too fast. While you may be very eager to try out this new hobby for National Runner’s Month, give your body some time to adjust to the new stresses and strains that running puts on it. If you start out too fast, you’ll likely have to pay for it with overexertion or an injury. Begin with a slow to moderate pace and ease your way into running for speed.
Get the Right Running Shoes
Don’t overlook the power of properly fitting running shoes. Like we mentioned, running can be very tough on the body. To mitigate the stress on your body, find shoes that fit right and give you the proper support. Your local sporting goods store should be able to assist you with your search. Good shoes can improve your form and recovery process.
Change Your Running Route
To avoid getting bored or burnt out, change up your running route. A change in scenery is not only adventurous, but it pushes you to try out different elevations, surfaces, and terrains. It’s good to run on a mix of surfaces rather than just one. Pavement can be hard on joints; whereas, trails are more likely to lead to injuries because of rocks, roots, and bumps.
Focus on Your Breath
Unless you do yoga, you likely don’t spend a lot of time focusing on your breath. However, this technique can boost your performance and avoid common running injuries. Rather than taking short, shallow breaths, try to take deep inhales that expand the belly and let out long exhales. Focused breathing relaxes your muscles and helps you settle into a long run. Once you get used to it, you’ll likely fall into a rhythm that keeps you engaged and running further.
Work on Your Form
While running may seem like the simplest type of exercise, it requires proper form and technique. A good form will help you run faster, further, and without injuries. Our best tips are to look ahead, have a tall posture, relax your hands and shoulders, strengthen your core, and don’t overstride. Short, easy steps are more effective than long, powerful strides.
Find a Running Buddy
Nothing can keep you more motivated than an accountability partner. Find a running buddy who will make sure that you stay on top of your training and who will push the pace when you’re feeling too comfortable. All in all, it’s nice to have someone to keep you company and encourage you to challenge yourself when you’re running.
Get a Running App
Running apps can help you keep track of your runs, but also coach you, motivate you, and keep you safe. By recording your runs, you can monitor your progress and race yourself. Whether you’re doing an hour run or trying to find the courage to take your first steps, guided runs are great to keep you on track, have companionship, and motivate you to not give up.
Do Strength and Cross Training
To improve your running performance, incorporate strength and cross training into your workouts to build muscle. Not only can training help you become stronger and quicker, but it will also help you prevent injuries. Plus, partaking in other activities is a good way to give your joints a break from running and keeps things from getting boring.
Give Your Body a Break
Rest! Your body needs time to recover. As you’re building strength and stamina, you’re also breaking down your muscles and causing tissue damage. It’s important to take a break (even if it’s one day off), so you can re-strengthen your body, re-sharpen your focus, and re-invigorate your spirit.
Visit Prairie Orthopaedic
There you have it — our running tips for National Runner’s Month! As a runner, we hope you feel more educated and motivated to get out there. If you suffer from a running injury or have pain while running, feel free to schedule an appointment with Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery, PC in Lincoln, NE. From your shoulders to your toes, we can assess the problem, give you the best care, and offer the proper advice to get you back to running again. Please contact us at 402-489-4700.