Fall running. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, cooler temperatures are here and there are a slew of races to choose from. It’s time to get your heart pumping, whether you’re running for exercise, training for a 5k or planning to conquer a marathon. Running is the perfect workout for busy people. With no equipment required, you can start your running workout from the moment you step out your front door. However, running can also be hard on the body. The next time you’re pounding the pavement, keep in mind these training tips to stay injury free and maximize your results:
When you sweat, your body loses fluids at a rapid pace. Replenish fluids by drinking plenty of water. This prevents dehydration and helps you maintain performance.
Aim to run at least three times a week. Each run should have a different focus. For instance, increasing distance at a comfortable pace or interval training, where you alternate pace and incorporate hill training. Practicing running at “race pace” is also critical to getting you race ready.
Fuel your body to get the most out of your workout. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is so important to your overall health and performance. A mix of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, complex carbs and protein can help you maintain your energy throughout the day and maximize recovery post-workout.
A great way to maintain motivation is to set goals. Pick a race with a great cause to motivate you to keep lacing up those runners. Keeping a few playlists on hand or working out with a buddy can also get you excited to train and help you achieve fitness success.
Add some functional strength training to your fitness regime. Targeting your core, legs and glutes can actually make you run faster. Strength training can also decrease your risk of injury and keep your body in balance, so you are in top shape to run your race.
Mix up your workout routine. Different activities like swimming or spinning, can give the joints and muscles used in running a break. Cross-training ups your cardio and can help make you a better runner.
Mix up your music and your workout routine to stay motivated. Keep your workout fresh by creating playlists for different moods and workout intensities. Use fitness apps to track your progress over the course of your workout regime and look to your fitness idols on Instagram or Facebook for daily inspiration. Simple actions will inspire you to train and keep you motivated to stay consistent.
Is your race mostly uphill? Add in some hills to your daily run. Is the race flat? Make sure you are training on flat roads. Is your 5k mostly downhill? Incorporate downhill training into your workouts.
Swelling, inflammation, pain and infection are all common injuries. Intense exercise and elevated stress levels can increase acidity in your body’s muscles and tissues, decreasing function while making recovery more difficult. Products that restore alkaline balance and increase microcirculation, can be helpful to improve muscle recovery time, enhance optimal performance and allow you to get back to the activities you love.
Whether you’re a recreational athlete or someone wanting to perform at your absolute best, use these tips to optimize your performance and fuel your body.
Brent Bishop is an on-air fitness expert, lifestyle host, and celebrity trainer. He is the owner of Think Fitness Studios in Toronto. iambishop.com.