Running is one of the most popular sports in the world, with minimal requirements to start. Just put on your shoes, hit the pavement, and see how far you can go. Unfortunately, without a good running routine in place, you may not get very far.
While strength and endurance training can help you reach your mileage goals, there are a few other steps you could be taking to make running more enjoyable. With proper nutrition, a good warmup and cooldown routine, and the right tools and resources to fix imbalances before they become injuries, you can crush your running goals in no time.
The Anatomy of a Running Routine
Nutritional needs vary by person, but for most runners staying hydrated and sticking to a healthy diet is a great start.
- Hydration: The amount of water you need changes depending several factors, including your height and weight. It’s often recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, however many people need more than that to stay hydrated. Tracking your daily water intake can help keep painful muscle cramps and energy crashes from ruining your run.
- Food: Maintaining a nutrient-rich diet is essential to improving your energy levels and overall stamina. There are multiple foods that are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Meat, fruit, vegetables, and dense complex carbs like whole grains can provide most of your nutritional needs as a runner.
You need to get your muscles warm and loose before a run because cold, stiff muscles and joints are more susceptible to strains and sprains. Start your workout with small, low impact movements to prepare your body for running. Take a quick walk before your run and practice a few dynamic exercises like bridges, lunges, and high knees. These energetic movements will warm up your muscles and prepare them for running without overstretching them.
The cooldown is probably one of the most under-appreciated elements in the typical runner’s routine. We often skip the cooldown so we can get to the next tasks on our to-do list. Forgetting to cool down after an intense workout can worsen symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness and sometimes lead to injuries.
Perform a few “reach and hold” static stretches after a run to help relax and lengthen your muscles, calm your cardiovascular system, and gradually bring your body back into a resting state. You can also use a foam roller or lacrosse ball to break up any fascial adhesions and relax your muscles.
Check out our Youtube Channel for some great mobility stretches and foam rolling tips to maximize your recovery.
Avoiding Running Injuries
Muscle and joint stiffness is a common cause of many running injuries. When your hips are tight, they can distort your alignment and throw off your stride. Stiff joints can also add resistance to each step, making you work harder and increasing your risk of injury. A good running routine focused on prevention can help you avoid most common problems, but isn’t guaranteed to keep you injury-free. Don’t ignore the early signs of an overuse injury. Address any lingering aches and pains as they occur and set aside time to rest and recover if you’re feeling “off.”
If an injury catches you in the middle of a run, cut your workout short and use the RICE method to reduce pain and inflammation:
Run Pain Free with Airrosti
If limited range of motion or aches and pains have been keeping you from enjoying your workouts, give Airrosti a call and schedule an appointment with a provider near you. We’ll eliminate your pain at the source so you can lace up those sneakers with confidence!
If virtual visits are more your style, consider scheduling a remote telehealth appointment. With telehealth, we can deliver our expertise directly to you from the comfort of your home.
Give us a call at 800-404-6050 to learn more.
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