Pace: The key to starting a running routine is to Increase your mileage gradually, upping your mileage about 10% each week. Be sure to take rest days, they’re important to your recovery and injury prevention as your muscles build and repair during this time.
Core: Runners who do core exercises four times a week run faster on average than those who didn’t according to a study done by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research so be sure to include some core workouts into your routine!
Stretching: Stretching when your muscles are cold is not a good idea so instead warm up a little bit with a quick running then stretch and continue your workout. Sleep: Make sure you are getting enough sleep, your body needs rest to improve your recovery.
Overstriding: Try to keep your steps light and quick, overstriding, or landing heel first with your foot well ahead of your body’s center of gravity wastes energy since you’re braking with each foot strike, and may also lead to injuries such as shin splints. Try to land mid-sole, with your foot directly underneath your body.
Arms: Some runners swing their arms side-to-side, which makes your breathing less efficiently. Additionally, there is a tendency to hold the hands up near the chest, especially as you get tired, however this can actually make you feel more tired and creates tightness and tension in your shoulders and neck. Try to keep your hands at waist level with arms at a 90 degree angle and elbows at your sides. You should rotate your arms at the shoulder, opposed to the elbow, and keep your posture straight. If you feel yourself slouching poke your chest out!
Nutrition: Nutrition is important for running performance and overall health. What and when you eat before, during, and after your runs matters. Eat a snack about 1 to 2 hours before a run that is high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein such as a banana and an energy bar, or cereal with milk. If you’re going on a long run (over 90 minutes) you need to replace some of the calories you’re burning through sports drinks, or bars. You should be taking in about 100 calories after an hour of running and then another 100 calories every 45 minutes after that. Post run it is important to replenish energy quickly as studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise which means eating quickly after your workout can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. Choose foods of primarily carbs, and protein with a ratio of about 1 gram of protein to 3 grams of carbs such as a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Carbohydrates are important to runners as a major source of fuel, so don’t cut them out of your diet! After hard runs, grab your post-run carb snack, and then follow up the evening with a meal of carbs and protein to rebuild muscle.