Running is easy right? Well, the more experienced you get, the more you realize how much good form matters in terms of avoiding injury. The right breathing techniques can shave minutes of your marathon performance and boost your sprint performance. So maybe running isn’t as easy as most amateurs think it is. Let’s look at some of the best tips I’ve found over my running career.
Here’s a video explaining some of the best techniques to allow you to run faster and avoid injury. I won’t type it up, because frankly you have to see these techniques. It’s one of those things, reading about it won’t help. The only way to learn is to understand what to do and go out and run!
I love running, but I also love my skin. I’ve struggled with acne my entire life and whenever I run long distances it seems to increase the amount of spots on my face. So I did some research to find out whether running (and exercise in general) does indeed cause acne.
Exercise-induced acne is common among runners, especially women. When exercising, especially when running longer distances, sweat can cause your pore to be blocked. This is bad enough, but when clothes rub on your skin for long period of time, this creates excessive friction. This friction combined with clogged pores can lead to acne. This is made worse when wearing make-up and sun protection. You can leave the make-up, but the sun protection is necessary to protect your skin; even if it does lead to pimples.
Below I outline a few remedies, but if these do not work, it might be worth talking to a dermatologist to ensure there isn’t a more serious problem. However, skin outbreaks caused by exercise are very common.
There are plenty of things you can do to prevent an acne outbreak each time you go for a run. The thing to keep in mind is that running does not lead to acne; it can in fact be helpful. Exercising can lead to reduced stress, which is great for the skin. On top of that, exercise (especially running) can increase blood circulation leading to a healthier skin.
All that is great, so why do you get spots after a run. Well, it’s not the running. It is the sweat that contributes to the skin outbreaks. So the prevention lies in preventing the sweat from irritating your skin. The easiest way to do this is to have a shower straight after a run. This will clear your pores and remove the sweat from your body. This goes a long way in prevention irritation to the skin.
The worst thing you can do is wear your sweaty clothes and not showering. Cleanse your body carefully in the shower to ensure the skin is completely clean after a run. There are plenty of great acne cleansers. My favorite cleanser is Exposed Skin Care. For more information on this acne cleanser, you can read the Exposed Skin Care review here. While this is the one I use, you’ll find plenty of other great alternatives in the health and beauty store.
You should also avoid using make-up when exercising and using a sunscreen that is oil-free. There are plenty of sunscreens designed specifically for the face which have no oil. This again will reduce irritation.
Apart form using over the counter medication to get rid of pimples, you could also use some natural home remedies. The best pimple remedy that works for me each and every time is aloe vera for acne. By applying this magical plant directly on the skin, you can reduce the effects of your run due to the healing properties in aloe vera.
We’ve all been there. You wake up and don’t feel like running, so you put it off until lunch time. But you’re just too hungry so you tell yourself you will go running in the evening. But once the evening arrives, you either don’t feel like it, you’re too tired or there are family commitments preventing you from training. If this sounds familiar, commit to becoming a morning runner. I personally love to run in the mornings before most people wake up. It’s quite, the air is fresh, and I’ll go through the day with a feeling of accomplishment.
An added bonus of running in the morning is that you gain extra energy throughout your day due to the endorphins created by exercising.
Don’t get stuck running the same road at the same pace. This won’t challenge your muscles enough and will get boring very fast. It’s best to experiment with new roads, new routes, and different training times. I prefer to run fast one day, and run slower but longer another day. This is the best way to challenge yourself and increase your stamina and capacity to run greater distances at much faster speeds.
Some people think they should be incredibly tired at the end of a run. This isn’t true. You should be comfortable at all times really. It’s OK to push the limits and get out of breathe, but there is no need to push yourself too hard. This tends to backfire, and can cause an increased risk of serious injuries.
It’s also important to stretch sufficiently before running and have an appropriate cool down period. Taking just 10 minutes to do this will increase your performance and drastically reduce the risk of injury.
Swimming is a great way to boost your endurance. You use different muscles and it’s a great way to boost performance on non-running days. You shouldn’t run every single day, but you can use your off-days to go swimming. This is much easier on the joints and will actually increase your ability to run greater distances. Make sure you have 2 days where you do no exercise at all each week though. You don’t want to push yourself too much.
Healthy food can increase your running speeds and distances. Your body will be able to be more resilient and you’ll have more energy when cutting down on bad foods such as junk food. Try eating more fruit and vegetables, and cut out some meat once in a while. You don’t need a strict diet, and you certainly don’t want to eat too little. You need the energy, so fuel up on carbohydrates and proteins.
Don’t over complicate the food part, as many people do. You might also want to increase your fiber intake to ensure you go more regularly. You don’t want to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a run!
Everyone seems to want to run a marathon these days, but few realize just how much practise and endurance it takes to successfully complete one. A marathon can be 26.2 miles of pain or 26.2 miles of pure pleasure depending on whether you trained sufficiently for it. With these tips, you’ll be more likely to finish the run, and maybe even finish among the top 10%!
Many people believe it’s all physical. From experience, this is definitely not true. Like most endurance sports, running is 80% mental. You need to first believe you can run the distance before you can physically do it. Professional athletes go as far as to visualize their races to enhance their performance. They see themselves crossing the finish line time and time again, until they truly believe that they can. Like the famous saying goes: “If you think you can’t do it, you’re probably right. If you think you can do it, you’re probably right”. So start believing in yourself. The best way to do that is to go out and run!
Here’s a video which will show you exactly what to expect. It’s pretty funny to watch this before going out to run.
While have the latest technology isn’t necessary, it is vital that you have comfortable shoes on. The shoes should be sturdy but lightweight and your socks should be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Do not buy new shows just before the race. Ensure you train in them to get used to them and avoid shoe-related injuries. If your running shoes bother you while training, it’s best to buy a new pair. Otherwise you will be in agony from the very start.
If you’ve never done a marathon, why not start with a half marathon or even a 5k run. This will build up your stamina and confidence. It’s best to build yourself up in stages and not push your limits too far. I see many participants quit halfway because they overestimated how difficult it can be, or worse get injured due to improper training.
Make sure you drink plenty. It’s easy to forget to drink, but dehydration can cause serious injury and impact your performance. You could use sport drinks to refuel your energy. You can either run with a drink or place drinks along the route.
I see many people run in cotton t-shirts. According to Runner’s World that’s a big mistake. Materials such as nylon will be much more comfortable and will let you breathe. As with shoes, practice running with your clothing first to ensure it doesn’t irritate you too much.
Whether you’re doing a 5k run, a half marathon, or a full marathon; following these tips will ensure you survive! You might even beat your personal record if you try hard enough.