via Nutbutter Runner
Before any successful run can begin, you need to fuel your body properly. This is really specific to you and your body. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you. Unfortunately, this is a “test it out” kind of process.
- The day before a run: lentils at one meal, sweet potato + nut butter at a meal, and late night snack of a toasted English muffin with nut butter and banana.
- The morning of a run: rice cake with nut butter and Energy Bits
- The post run: protein smoothie made with a frozen banana, protein powder, nut butter, and ice
I discovered that posture is the key to having a good run and preventing injury.
- Stand tall with your back straight
- Point toes forward
- Run with your gaze straight in front of you
- Keep your arms going with your strides at a 90 degree angle and shoulders down and away from your ears
Breathing is probably the most important aspect of a run.
- Breathe through your mouth
This allows more oxygen to be taken in than if you breathe in through your nose, which is important in supplying oxygen to your muscles
- Breathe from your belly
It’s the same breathing technique that is used in yoga, it allows more oxygen to get into your system
- Breathe in rhythm
Try to inhale and exhale at a constant rate. The best tip I received was to allow your bottom lip to be “loose” and count how many times it “bounces” in a minute. This should remain constant throughout the run.
Tackling hills can certainly slow a run down.
- Gaze down at your feet
If you aren’t looking up at the top of the hill, you aren’t straining your neck. You also aren’t being intimidated at how far you might have to climb!
- Short strides
Shuffle your feet in short, quick strides to prevent too much strain on one muscle and prevents injury.
Maintain a straight back and try to prevent from leaning over too much. Bring arms to a ~70 degree angle to prevent from tensing shoulders up.
What Goes Up Most Come Down
Downhill can be dangerous since you pick up speed and tend to pound on your knees more.
Maintain a straight back, bring arms to a 120 degree angle, and keep them loose. Pretend like you are swimming downhill.
- Longer strides
This well help to prevent too much pounding on your knees.
Take care of yourself during the run with water intake and electrolyte replacement. Take pride in the fact that you just completed a run. No matter what the distance, no matter how hard it was, you just accomplished an amazing feat. When you finish a race with 100% heart, then you know you gave your all and the run is that much more meaningful.