Running. Some days it can really feel like a necessary evil. But when you focus on the feeling of accomplishment you get after each run, that will keep you lacing up your trainers day after day. Here at Rocky, we’re big fans of outdoor running as a way to connect with nature, carve out some needed time of solitude, and get your heartbeat up for your health.
Running doesn’t take a lot of gear or planning - and you can run in almost any weather condition as long as you layer up. If you’ve been thinking of getting into running or are already a runner looking for a way to improve your skills, you can benefit from our simple performance enhancing tips below.
One of the best tools to stay motivated is to make yourself accountable to other people - whether it’s a partner who checks in to make sure you did your run, joining a running club, or scheduling a weekly planned runs with friends. This is key to help you reach your goals, and nothing beats the camaraderie of going on a run with your friends! People will be relying on you to show up. If you’re just starting out, a women’s specific running group is a great way to begin.
Make it fun by giving yourself stickers on a calendar for each day you ran! There’s nothing like appealing to the elementary school kid in you with stickers.
The most important thing is to have correct footwear!
Did you know that when you run, your hips, legs and feet absorb up to 8-times your body weight in force? Proper running shoes will cushion your feet evenly and help dissipate and absorb the impact. The right shoes will be designed for how your foot lands, or pronates when you run.
Everyone has different feet and movement, so we suggest going to a professional running store and getting a fitting. We really can’t overstate the importance of correct footwear. Your feet and knees will thank you, and you’ll be less prone to running-related injuries.
To stay comfortable on your run, you’ll need to dress appropriately and get gear that you enjoy being in! It will help motivate you to run if your clothing makes you feel like a winner. For performance and comfort, choose fabrics that help you stay dry. Avoid cotton as it doesn’t dry when you sweat. Instead, wear clothes made from merino wool or polypropylene, as these wick moisture away from your body and dry quickly when wet. Merino wool has the added advantage of staying warm when wet, warding off odours, and is recommended for cooler weather.
Good running clothes includes a good sports bra, pants and shirt that dry quickly, a hat (a baseball style hat works very well) and a thin windbreaker jacket in case it’s windy. Fitted clothing is the most comfortable, and there is a lot of choice in running clothing for women. Also, don’t forget running specific socks. A good running sock will have reinforced heel and toe and won’t bunch up when you run.
Try to avoid eating a heavy meal or too much food right before running. Eat about an hour before you run, and allow your stomach to settle before you set off.
Stretching is an important part of the process to improve your running performance. Be sure to stretch lightly right before you run, but the major stretch should come after, when your muscles are warmed up. Focus on your hamstrings, calves and glute muscles. To learn more, check out details on these stretches from Runner’s World.
Strava is a popular choice but there are many others. Apps like Runners World Go will not only help you keep track of your runs, but help you build a personalized running schedule to help you build strength to reach your goals. Fit Radio is an awesome music companion with curated DJ playlists sorted by beats per minute so you can run to the rhythm of your choice. If you’re traveling, try MapMyRun, which helps you discover new routes great for running in places you’re not familiar with.
Do you want to run a half marathon by the end of the summer? Set some small goals for yourself to slowly work up to your big target. For example, start with a 5-kilometer run or shorter, and every week increase that by a kilometer or two. Take walking breaks when you need to. Run 2-3 times per week, and time yourself on these runs to see your progress. Reward yourself for the progress, not just the big goal.
Sweating is great way to unclog pores and remove impurities from your skin. It’s a natural way to detox your skin! But when sweat stays on the surface of the skin for a period of time, all that bad stuff goes back in causing more problems like unwanted breakouts and irritation. Get into the routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin right after your workout.
Rest is just as important as having proper running shoes. Make sure not to overdo it as you’ll get stronger by relaxing and not over-training. Your body will tell you when it has had enough, so make sure to listen to it and take appropriate rest days.
The day after a big run, your legs might be sore, so go for an easy walk to help relax and loosen the muscles. Take a bath with Epsom salts, like our Sport Bath Salts, which help ease sore muscles and break down lactic acid.
Share your run progress with us by using #RMSCrun on your social posts so we can cheer you along.
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