Ever since the world began, men and women have been running all the time. From hunting wild animals to outrunning enemies and other hazards, people have been running all the time. In fact, in today’s time, people still continue to run, albeit for a more physically beneficial reason.
Running is a routine that can significantly boost your health and fitness. Coaches and training experts will tell you that running or jogging is part of an effective training program. Jogging can help strengthen your cardio so you won’t gas out quickly. It may not seem much, but running can also help you burn fat faster because it involves working out a lot of muscles.
A lot of experienced runners will also tell you that running provides an addictive rush to them. It may sound weird, but the term “addiction” is what runners use because of the high they associate with running. Research even agrees that the “Runner’s High” is a real thing. Runner’s high is a feeling of euphoria after having pushed or completed a target distance.
This is the reason why most runners often dream of becoming competitive distance runners. Distance running involves a lot of training. That training involves shifting your workouts to benefit your cardio, muscle and leg strength, and overall endurance.
Although running is an excellent way to increase fitness and health, some experts say that competitive distance running can lessen the overall fitness of a person. Distance running shifts your physical needs to a more one-dimensional look. Running only moves you in one motion, and there aren’t many movements involved.
Since running long distances can break you down in the long run, you must prepare your body for it. Training for long distances can also be very stressful, which only adds to the complications. As a runner, you should always prioritize your health and well-being. Here are some tips to help you stay perfectly healthy while running:
Don’t over train
As mentioned earlier, runners often feel that high when they complete their target distances. However, too much of that euphoria can lead to a lot of unhealthy decisions such as overtraining. An athlete may not feel the need to stop, as the high is already energizing them, motivating them to push themselves even more.
Instead of gaining a lot, runners who overtrain lose more. Muscles begin to weaken, endurance is affected, tolerance to stimuli is heightened or reduced, etc. These changes can affect the body negatively and often result in injuries that take a long time to heal.
Switch it up
Since running is one dimensional, your body and specific muscles often get overworked. To avoid this, try switching up your routine. Training for runners doesn’t exclusively have running as its core.
For one, a runner can go for home gym equipment to better up their training sessions. Most of these pieces of equipment often have a review by Barbend.com and other reliable sites, making it more reliable and safer to use.
You can also try to change your environment and pacing. Instead of running straight, back and forth, why not go around laps? Instead of running down streets and pathways, why not try going up and down staircases? The variety you get from changing up things prevents you from feeling tired and bored. Remember, distance running isn’t just about the physical aspect. It’s also about mental fortitude and motivation.
As with any training or conditioning program, your food choices matter. If you have too much weight on you, you can easily put burden on bones, muscles, and joints, making you prone to injury. Being underweight, on the other hand, reduces your endurance and will not make you run as long. A proportion of 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat is ideal for most runners.
Beware of having too much of everything, though. Too many carbs can quickly tire you out instead of providing you the necessary energy. Excess protein can be bad for your kidneys, and too much fat can cause unhealthy build-ups that lead to heart disease.
Don’t be afraid to sleep. Sleep helps the body recover from intense training. It also helps the mind relax and prepare itself for another workout. When you don’t get enough sleep, you feel more tired than usual, and you become irritable. Even worse, extended periods of sleep deprivation lead to diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Get the right amount of sleep and get the right quality of sleep. Once you have all those, you’ll be feeling more energetic about doing your next training run.
Recovery Runs and Rest Periods
Allow your body to recover from long-distance running by doing recovery runs. Recovery runs are less intense and have shorter distances compared to actual runs. Once in a while, you should also plan for days or weeks without running. Instead of running, you can do other sports such as biking, swimming, or any outdoor activity. Take time off, you deserve it.
Running is an exciting way to stay fit. This feeling of happiness is why most runners want to become long-distance runners. The tips above will help you as a distance runner to stay healthy and on top of things. Remember, balance is the key to success. Don’t over-train, rest, eat right, and you’ll soon be covering distances with no problem.