Running long-distance is something many people enjoy. It’s an easy way to improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, and maintain a healthy weight.
Learning the best tips and stretches to do before running is essential for your health and performance if you plan on performing in races or marathons.
Things Long-Distance Runners Should Be Doing
Whether you’re a new or seasoned runner, these helpful tips should help you get the most out of your training sessions. Here are some things you should do if you want to improve your running skills and perform your best during a race.
Stretching is important for everyone, from runners to weightlifters to office workers. Medical professionals always recommend stretching before and after exercising to keep your muscles in the best shape.
Before going for a run, warm up with dynamic stretches that get your blood flowing. Afterward, you’ll want to cool down with static stretches.
Runners should target these major muscles while stretching:
- Hip adductors
- Lower back
Another thing runners need to remember is to drink enough water. Hydration is essential for your health and performance because water does so many wonderful things for the body.
It regulates body temperature, brings energy to cells, and cushions joints. Make sure to drink plenty of water for your best performance.
Wear The Right Clothes
The proper clothing and shoes you wear while running can make a difference in your performance. Make sure to invest in some high-quality running shoes that are comfortable and supportive.
A good pair will have adequate cushioning and be relatively lightweight. Your clothes should also be lightweight, easy to move in, and should properly keep you ventilated.
Fuel Your Body
Anything you put into your body will determine how you feel and how well you run. If you want to perform well during a race, make sure you’re eating healthy, nutritious food that will fuel your body. You should also avoid having a full meal about two to three hours before a run.
A typical runner’s diet consists of the following foods:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein
- Healthy fats
Gradually Increase Mileage
The best way to improve your running skills is to practice incremental growth. It’s always better to start slow before gradually increasing speed and distance.
If your longest run was five miles, and you want to hit 10, increase your distance by about a mile each week until you reach your goal. It’s the best way to prevent yourself from burning out.
Get Enough Rest
Another thing that prevents burnout is rest. Recovery is crucial for your performance, so make sure you have rest days so your body can heal.
You also want to get enough sleep at night, as sleep is a significant factor in recovery. You can’t expect to perform your best when you’re exhausted, so don’t forget to take a break.
Find Ways To Make Your Runs Interesting
Running the same route every day can become monotonous after a while. You’re more likely to quit when you become bored with the same thing.
To prevent this from happening, you can find different ways to make your runs more enjoyable. Some ways to switch things up are to change running routes every so often, create new playlists, or run with friends.
Pay Attention To Form
Everything you do requires having proper form, including running. If you continue to run long distances with poor technique, you can increase your chances of getting an injury.
You should avoid landing too hard on your feet as you run. Also, make sure to keep your spine tall and hold your gaze forward.
Don’t Forget About Cross-Training
If you’re training for a long-distance run, you might think your routine should only include running. However, cross-training is essential for good performance. It’s also great for those who want a mental break from the intensity of running.
Incorporate some strength training to build muscle and help your body manage the physical stress of running. You can also try a few other cross-training activities, such as cycling, swimming, or Pilates.
Running is supposed to be enjoyable, so don’t forget to have fun while training! If you get too caught up in trying to be the best, you’ll start to lose the joy of the activity.
The stress could also impact your performance on race day. Even if you compete, you ultimately want to try your best and have fun during the process.
Improve Your Performance By Learning The Best Stretches To Do Before Running
Now that you know what it takes to be a great runner, it’s time to start putting these tips to the test. You’ll notice the difference it makes in your mind, body, and performance during a race or marathon.