Do you love running? Will you be out and about running for the rest of the year and into the new one? If you are an all weather runner or will be taking your outdoor running to the treadmill, here are five things you need to consider doing. Aside from running there are some really helpful tips I want you to know so that you can improve your performance when you next put on those running trainers.
Just because you are a runner it doesn't mean you have to skip meals to stay light and trim. Your nutrition is actually really important and that is why I am starting with this over anything else. Obviously carbohydrates are a big factor for any endurance athlete as this macro nutrient is responsible for energy supplies and fueling you properly before you set out. However, a macro nutrient that is often forgotten about is protein and how it can help your performance. Protein isn't just for bodybuilders and will actually help increase muscle repair, recovery and build muscle that you will need to become a stronger runner. Make sure you eat enough protein throughout the day and use shakes to meet your requirements.
Hit The Weight Room
Of course as a runner you need to work on your cardiovascular system but make sure you do not neglect weight training completely. The aim of being a runner is to be slight but have enough strength to glide you through each distance you decide to do with ease, bulky muscles will slow you down and make you work harder. However, training your upper body as well as your lower body with resistance based exercises will increase your strength in these areas.
If you are going to perform any type of resistance based exercise it will really benefit you to include compound type movements. Compound movements work large muscle groups and will increase overall strength. Movements like squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, bench press, overhead press etc with an Olympic bar will really work the body. Dedicate two or three strength training sessions a week to really notice a difference in your running.
Take To The Floor
Yoga is not just for girls and I tell you now, if you can include one yoga session a week it will help reduce the niggles you might have or pick up in time. In an ideal world you want to stretch for as long as you exercise, so if you run for an hour or lift for that time, you should stretch for this period of time also. Like I said, in an ideal world this is what you would do, but in reality it doesn't really happen that way. Stretching at the end of your workouts can really benefit the body in reducing tight muscles which will affect your performance over time. The more you stretch out tight areas the more supple you will become. This allows the body to work harder and for the muscles to contract better, perform at least 15 minutes of stretching at the end of workouts.
Have The Upper Hand
Finally, when you have all the above mastered you might want to look into using some supplements that can also give you the upper hand. Supplements like protein shakes or energy gels can serve you very well especially when your body depletes and needs that extra push. In my opinion you should always be using a protein shake after any intense exercise you do, this helps your muscles repair and recover better. Energy gels can be used on long runs or in training sessions. There are obviously other supplements you can use like BCAAs, glutamine and so on which will also help you. However, at this stage if you aren't using any supplements, I strongly recommend you use a protein shake that will really help you.
So runners, follow these five points and allow your body to transform into the best runner you possibly can be!