Today I’m sharing my 5 favorite tips to improve my run! Granted, we will always have good runs and bad runs, but these tips will help overall. I am not a super fast runner, but I am in love with the sport. I ran cross country and track in high school. I continued to run some after high school, but through the transition to college running hit the back burner. Now, I am trying to get back in to the sport, train, and make it a priority. I’ve been trying to get back in to my old healthy habits of clean eating and daily exercise. I’m not where I want to be, but through my blog you’ll see the positive changes in my body/healthy the more I write.
1. Lunges Before your Run
We used to do these during cross country practice and I still do them today. Doing these before every run will help warm up your legs and build strength over time. Doing some strength training in addition to yours runs will help keep you injury free over time I’ve had injuries caused from muscle imbalances previously.
Here’s the Breakdown:
5 side lunges on each leg
5 front lunges on each leg
5 backward lunges on each leg
2. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Staying hydrating throughout the day is key to feeling great on your runs! When I’m de-hydrated I tend to feel sluggish and my muscles do not feel ready to go. De-hydration can also cause headaches, which is no bueno. I recommend drinking a glass of water when you first wake up every day. You should be drinking half your body weight in oz of water per day. Being properly hydrated will also help with your the blood-oxygen exchange in your muscles. However, I am not saying you down a ton of water before your run, this will make your gut feel sloshy and unhappy during the run. It’s the same reason you should not eat directly before your run.
I personally really enjoy using my Hydro Flask during the summer because it keeps your water ice cold for hours. I’ve filled it up with ice water before bed, and there would still be a small ice cube in there when I wake up. You can also leave this bottle in your 90 degree car for hours and your water will be ice cold. The other water bottle I really enjoy is my Nathan Big Shot Narrow Mouth Bottle.
3. Carry your Keys Hands Free!
If you’re like me, you do not like to carry your phone and keys in your hands when you run. I highly recommend grabbing a Nathan Mirage Pak . This belt stretches so you can easily fit your car keys and phone in it. I have a regular iPhone 7 and it fits in perfectly fine with my keys. It’s comfortable to wear and it does not bounce when you run. I typically keep the pouch in the back (so on my lower back) when running to reduce bounce.
I don’t listen to music when I run because I like to think and de-stress during my runs. It’s also a safety thing for me. I like to be aware of my surroundings and hear what’s going on so I can be prepared/aware if something were to go wrong. Since we’re talking about safety I always tend to keep pepper spray with me, this is not only good for humans but also for dogs that may attack you. I personally haven’t had to use my pepper spray, but I like to be safe.
4. Wear the Proper Shoes
I don’t know how often I see people wearing a generic shoe that is not the right fit for them. When you run you pronate. Due to pronation the type of shoe you wear may vary. Some people pronate normally, while others may over or under pronate. I recommend going to your local running store, have an expert analyze your run, and allow them to determine the proper shoe for you. Having the right shoe will make your runs more comfortable and prevent injury.
It is also to important to replace your shoes every 450-500 miles or when the tread on the bottom of your shoe wears off. You can see my purple shoes are looking rough and it is time to get new ones. The pair of blue Hoka Shoes are new and are in good running condition. (The shoe sizes look different because the newer larger pair are my boyfriend’s.)
5. Foam Rolllllllll
Foam rolling is perfect for post-run recovery. I would recommend adding this in to your stretching routine. You can foam roll in your living room while watching TV or anywhere you’d like! Spending 10 minutes foam rolling after each run can really improve your performance. Foam rolling helps loosen and lengthen your fascia which are a connective tissue in your muscles. If you do not foam roll your fascia tightens potentially causing pain and lower mobility. I have the Tone It Up Foam Roller and the Pro-Tec Athletics Roller Massager .
What are your favorite running tips? Let me know in the comments!