Updated: Oct 17, 2022
The most ironic part about being a running coach is that I spend a good amount of my time trying to convince my athletes to do things other than just running. As the miles begin to stack up, it becomes increasingly important to add more safety features to our daily routine. By adding just a few simple habits to our week, we can become better runners by decreasing injury risk, promoting consistency and longevity, and paving the way for long-term growth. Here are 5 things that I recommend all runners do, even if it means spending a little less time running.
1. Warm up
A warm up should be done before every run, and it only takes a couple of minutes! A warm up helps us get our muscles activated and blood flowing before the run begins, which allows our bodies to prepare for the high impact of running. A couple of minutes of dynamic exercises and starting off the run with a slow jog can be enough to prime our bodies for the incoming adventure!
2. Post-run foam roll
Foam roll, every day, everything you can. Foam rolling can help decrease muscle soreness and can even help prevent the little flares and strains that sometimes progress to injuries. If you’re in a hurry, the main areas to focus on are the lower legs (calves and shins), hamstrings, quads, glutes, and IT band.
Running is just the same movement, repeated over and over again. Over many miles and many years, the chance of overuse injury is high with that repeated movement. Dynamic mobility movements, such as leg swings and the Myrtl routine, can help us expand our range of motion, reduce the risk of overuse injury, and make us more resilient runners.
We should be hydrated all day, every day! Of course, water is vital, but electrolytes are often missed when it comes to our hydration. You can get electrolytes through a sports drink, or even by adding a pinch of salt to your water bottle.
5. Rest Days
By now, you probably know that I am a huge advocate for rest days. See this previous blog post for more information about why rest days are vital. :)