North East Times’ health and fitness correspondent Katie Bulmer-Cooke gives her top tips for ‘pounding the pavements’ this spring
As run season approaches and the weather improves, it’s time to think about getting outside, making the most of the better weather and boosting our cardiovascular fitness. We all like to see results, and there’s nothing quite as motivating for a runner as chasing and achieving a personal best time, so here are my top strategies to ensure you smash your PB.
Making sure you’re taking enough time to recover in between runs is really important. It is helpful to have a solid training plan, where you can factor in rest days. Making sure your muscles have time to recover before your next run can really help ease your body in and stop your legs feeling heavy and tired. Whether you’re foam-rolling or taking an ice bath, recovery is essential. It’s also important to think about recovery in terms of refuelling your body and replacing everything that your body needs after a hard session.
Think about nutrition
Most people associate race or training nutrition with longer runs, but you actually lose a lot of minerals and trace elements during any intense exercise or training – long or short. Replacing these electrolytes is beneficial not only for hydration, but for your speed and endurance when running, too.
Take strength and conditioning classes
A good way of improving your speed and avoiding injury is to try some strength and conditioning exercises. Focus on muscles that strengthen your core and help with balance – these are essential when running.
It’s not all about time
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘a watched pot never boils’, well, the same goes for runners who are constantly watching the clock. Looking at the minutes and seconds tick by on your watch or running tech can put too much pressure on trying to run at a quicker pace. Doing the odd run where you don’t look at your time until the end might actually surprise you; it takes the pressure off and can make the run so much more enjoyable.
If you’re gearing up for a spring and summer full of running – just like I am – here are the three bits of kit I can’t live without.
Using a foam roller daily helps to prevent muscle tightness and injury.
Go for a cross trainer or running shoe that supports the ankles well. If you’re training regularly, you can expect to need to change your trainers around every four to five months.
This supplement is cited as being tennis star Rafa Nadal’s ‘magic potion’ and I have to say it’s mine, too. It’s amazing for recovery, hydration, preventing cramp and boosting the immune system.
Now go grab your trainers, and let’s get running!