With the weather soon warming up, it’s time to gear up for another satisfying season of running. These five tips will help you make the most of the season, whether you want to improve performance, avoid injuries, or enhance your experience.
Many runners hold tension in their upper bodies when they run. This doesn’t only make a run less enjoyable — it also increases the risk of muscle aches and pains.
If you think you may be too tense during your runs, try holding a rolled-up sheet of paper while you run for a few minutes. If the paper looks all crunched up at the end of your run, you are squeezing too hard.
Focus on allowing your fingers to loosen while you run, and you will waste less energy. A relaxed grip will also reduce tension in the shoulders and lessen the risk of strains and aches.
There are so many good reasons to run, including stress relief, making new friends, and improved physical well-being. Research has also shown that running and other types of aerobic exercise can help treat mild to moderate depression without some of the common side-effects of antidepressants.
There are even more benefits when you run outdoors. When people spend time outside, they tend to be less anxious, stressed, and depressed. And here on the Western Slope, we’re fortunate to have easy access to world-class outdoor running routes, like these scenic running trails in Western Colorado.
Keep your feet healthy by regularly replacing your shoes with comfortable, high-performing footwear. You can also soothe and relax the muscles in your feet by massaging them with a tennis ball, golf ball, or lacrosse ball. Gently roll the ball from your heel to toes in the morning and at night. Your feet will thank you when you're back out on the road or trail.
Whether you love to run in competitive races, or just want to add more movement to your daily routine, keep things realistic by setting goals that encourage steady progress.
For starters, aim to run three to four days per week. Once you've established a running habit, you can move your focus to increasing your speed and stamina. This is especially wise if you’re recovering from an injury.
According to research appearing in Nature Communications, people tend to run more when they run with friends. They’re also more likely to push themselves when they see their friends run harder and faster.
These days, it's easier than ever to connect with other runners, thanks to local groups, apps that track your progress, and more. This year see if you can include your friends and family in your running routine. If not, look into making new connections with like-minded people who enjoy running as much as you.