With the potential to burn over 1,000 calories per hour, running is one of the most demanding forms of cardiovascular exercise. It can help burn more fat, lower blood pressure, build stronger bones, and ensure internal organs perform as they should.
The following list of practical running tips aims to:
- ensure you get the most out of your run;
- reduce the risk of injury; and
- increase your level of motivation.
If you can’t go outside that doesn’t mean you can’t run. Bring one of this best treadmill in India home right now and start ripping running benefits indoors.
The 12 actionable running tips for comfort and progress
1.Understand the basics of fitness, nutrition, and burning fat.
In particular, note that you shouldn’t run for several hours after eating a meal and ensure you’re adequately hydrated. If planning on running very long distances (for endurance-building purposes), you might consider consuming a drink containing electrolytes – such as Gatorade or Powerade, but don’t bother if you’re seeking to lose fat, as sports drinks only provide unnecessary calories.
2.Chose comfortable running shoes, and replace them punctually.
The repetitive impact of running can potentially lead to injuries; therefore, it’s crucial to select an appropriate and comfortable pair of running shoes – not hiking shoes or sneakers.
The best time to try new shoes is in the afternoon when your feet have swollen slightly due to the heat. When you run, your feet will swell even more. When trying shoes on, you should be able to insert a finger between your heel and the back of the shoe, and your toes should not feel crammed against the front of the shoe. Those who may be injury-prone, consult a running shop specialist who can recommend a specific type of shoe based on your feet’ unique features, and perhaps even by observing your running posture on a treadmill.
Although many personal, terrain and climate-related factors are involved, experts agree that running shoes will last approximately 800KM (500 miles). Do your own math: if you run approximately 15 kilometers per week, you’ll probably need to buy new running shoes approximately once per year. To get more distance from your shoes, make sure you clip your toenails regularly too!
3.Dress and prepare for the running conditions.
Whether running on a treadmill, park trail, or neighborhood streets, it’s essential to dress appropriately and be aware of potential safety risks.
Safety risks can arise due to rain, ice, traffic, loose terrain, insects, wildlife, the dark, the sun, and more! Whether you need wire-mesh grippers (for snow), a reflective jacket, bug spray, or sunglasses – take whatever precautions are relevant for the route you plan to run and always double-knot your shoelaces to reduce the risk of tripping.
Whether in hot or cold climates, you will sweat when you run. It’s best to wear clothing made from synthetic material, which draws moisture away from the skin – thereby preventing wetness, discomfort, acne, and chafing. This can include spandex shorts (which can be worn underneath regular shorts if desired) and special running socks (to prevent blisters). If you wish to wear sunscreen, select a brand that’s sweat-proof. You can also consider applying a good lip balm, as well as applying a moisturizer to wherever things rub to prevent chafing – including the inner-upper legs, inner-upper arms, and for men – the nipples.
4.Listen to music for motivation but be aware of hazards.
Listening to music while running can motivate you to run longer and harder, meaning more calories burned!
However, ensure you’re aware of potential hazards – particularly cars and bikes. Always run facing traffic, and never assume that a driver can see you. Finally, don’t have the volume turned up so loudly that you can’t hear cars approaching from behind.
5.Warm-up gradually and do not stretch! Save stretching for after the run.
Research suggests you shouldn’t stretch before running. The best way to warm up for a run is by walking briskly for approximately 5 to 10 minutes – otherwise, you risk pulling a muscle.
When you’ve finished your run, cool down by walking for 5 minutes as well, and then complete some stretching.
6.Run naturally, and relax!
Running is pretty straightforward and comes naturally to many people. Nevertheless, here are several tips to consider:
Stride evenly, landing gently on your heel, rolling forward smoothly, then pushing off with your toes. If it hurts, stop!
Keep your head and chest up, and focus a short distance ahead of you. If on a treadmill, don’t look around too much, or you risk losing your balance.
Don’t clench your fists, which wastes energy and can distract you from concentrating.
Breath naturally and deeply through the mouth – as this is the most efficient way for your lungs to get much-needed oxygen. If you’re out of breath, slow down!
Don’t start running too fast! If you have extra energy, save it for the latter part of your run. If you feel like you still have extra energy towards the very end of your run, consider sprinting.
7.If you can’t run the entire length, walk for part of it.
Nobody is ‘born’ an athlete and must train for it. If you’re a new runner and seeking to increase your fitness level, there’s nothing wrong with walking for part (or all) of your workout. Consider walking for one or two minutes, then running for one or two minutes, then repeat. As your fitness improves, so should the proportion of time spent running.
8.Incorporate rest into your fitness routine.
Although getting sufficient rest isn’t a problem for the average individual, dedicated fitness-fanatics need to ensure they don’t over-train – otherwise, they potentially risk serious, life-long injuries.
Doing more doesn’t necessarily mean achieving more. When it comes to fitness, sometimes doing less will help achieve goals more quickly and safely.
Everybody’s different and must learn what best suits their body; however, we don’t recommend running two back-to-back days in a row. If you feel you absolutely have to do something, consider cross-training via a cardiovascular activity with a lower impact on the knees – such as cycling, swimming, or the elliptical machine.
9.Track your fitness progress.
We’re our own worst critics! Because we see ourselves in the mirror daily, it can be hard to tell when we’re actually making physical progress – unless somebody tells us, or we have records that prove it!
- weigh yourself at a consistent time once per month. Any more frequently, and other factors can be an influence – especially for females.
- because bodyweight alone isn’t always the best indicator, if your gym provides the service, do a body composition test once per month – which can tell you what proportion of your body weight is from fat versus muscle mass.
- record the time (to the nearest second) it takes you to run your favorite route. There is no need to do this every time you run, but if you do it every month, you will notice improvements, especially for beginners.
- measure your waist, chest, and arm size every few months.
- take photographs, labeling them with the date and body weight.
10.Select your running routes wisely.
Because runners are human beings, we’ll be more likely to stick with our commitments if we actually like the location(s) we run in.
- pick routes close to your home (ideally outside your front door). The more convenient it is, the greater the chance you’ll stick to it.
- vary your routes to keep things exciting and challenging – in the countryside, along a body of water, a park, an urban setting, a hilly route.
- running on soft surfaces should be favored over hard surfaces, as it’s less impactful on your knees and ankles.
11.Run with a partner, but select them carefully.
Running with a buddy can have pros and cons, so select them carefully! A good partner will have similar goals, be committed and on time, and have a similar fitness level. So they neither pressure nor hinder your progress. A little bit of healthy competition can go a long way. Many fitness associations, running clubs, universities, and other organizations regularly host running groups (or clinics) that may interest you. However, it can be good just to run alone sometimes too!
12.Keep yourself inspired by reading and re-reading fitness tips.
We recommend seeking knowledge – which includes reminding yourself of your existing knowledge. FitnessXP provides the basics which most agree upon; however, there are numerous magazines and other websites which provide additional detailed knowledge, inspiration, nutritional recipes, success stories, and other exciting features which will help you stick to your goals.