Whether you've been running for a year or a decade, sometimes you hear a tip that makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that?!" We could always use a good hack, so read up on our list and see if there's something that can improve your running routine for the better.
Just Run for 10 Minutes
This one is an oldie but goodie. Not feeling your usual run? Aim to log just 10 minutes (or 1 mile, whichever you prefer). If the issue is inertia, most of the time you'll feel better after a warmup and want to keep going.
Make a Plan
Even if you're running casually, if you want to make sure your runs happen, schedule them out in advance. Look at the week (or month) ahead and decide when you'll be able to run and when it's better to focus on other things.
Better to Be Undercooked Than Overcooked
We'd never suggest toeing the starting line without proper training, but there's a fine line between being prepared and getting burnt out. As you get closer to a goal race, resist the urge to pile on more and more miles. And if you have any nagging aches or pains, a few days off can help get you to the starting line healthy.
Always End a Workout Feeling Like You Could Do a Little More
Whether you have an easy run or an interval workout on tap, it's generally a good idea to leave some in the tank. Giving 110% is a great strategy for race day, but not every day.
Humidity Is the Poor Man's Altitude Training
If you live in an area with warm weather humidity (we see you gulf coast!), your runs are going to feel a lot harder than they would in drier weather. There are plenty of online charts that can help you adjust pace based on the dew point, but keep in mind that if the weather changes later on (and especially on race day), all of that humid training will pay off. Your body has to work harder to cool itself when it's humid, so those physical adaptations (e.g. higher core body temperature and subsequent increased heart rate) will ultimately make you a stronger runner.
Don't Try Anything New on Race Day
You've heard it before, but race day (and the days leading up to it) are the time to stick with your tried-and-true routine. Practice everything from your outfit and your pre-run breakfast to your shoes well in advance. The last thing you need mid-race is an urgent porta potty stop or blisters!
What happens after a run is almost as important as the run itself. Aim to refuel with a mix of carbohydrates and protein within 30 mins after finishing up your workout. Skimping on post-run fuel can hinder muscle recovery, so it's important not to overlook this step!
Don't Waste Energy up Top
Rather than clenching your fists together, lightly cup your hands (imagine you're holding a handful of potato chips that you don't want to crush!).
Make Every Run Have a Purpose
If you're training for a race, identifying the goal for each day is key. Sometimes the goal will be dialing in on race pace while other days it will simply be recovery. Knowing why you're doing each run can help prevent running unnecessary junk miles or on the flip side, skipping runs.
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