We all know that running can make you feel incredible. As well as keeping you fit, it can strengthen your bones, improve your focus and boost your mood. With the outdoor season now in full flow with 5 and 10Ks, half and full marathons taking pace every weekend, you might be feeling inspired to get out, get moving and get running.
But if you aren’t a seasoned pro, what should you be doing to get the most from your workout? Over on Myprotein they have a whole host of tips and articles to help you with every aspect of your exercise routine. We asked Callum, one of the Myprotein Editors and an endurance runner himself, to give us the best tips for warming up effectively and getting the most from your run.
Start With a Short Run
Before anything else, do a 15 minute mid-tempo run. Not too fast, not too slow, just nice and steady.
This should always be the first part of your warm up and it is essential to build up the pace steadily. This allows breathing and heart rate to increase at an even rate and reduces stiffness in muscles, effectively prepping your body for the next round of warm up drills.
Do Some Warm Up Drills
The next stage of your warm up should target specific muscles relevant to your running. Exercises such as heel flicks and knee highs work the entire lower limb, activating muscles from foot to hip.
A succinct set of mobility exercises (otherwise known as stretches) not only prepares you for your workout but may also prevent injury by helping you remain supple.
This simple exercise ties up your warm up routine. A stride is used to ease into faster movements (perfect for when you aren’t used to running lots).
If you’re prepping for something like a race, this allows the body to become used to race pace for a short period of time and allows for recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibres, which will help you sprint to the finish line.
This might sound like a simple step, but it is always worth remembering. Dehydration will make repair and recovery much slower.
Always keep water with you during your runs and consider trying a sports drink for an extra hydration boost.
Give yourself enough energy to complete your run by prepping with some pre-run food. How much food and exactly when to eat it may differ for each person and may take some time to figure out.
However, Low Glycaemic Index foods like Sweet Potato, Dried Apricots and Peanut Butter are great before a long run as they supply the muscles with energy at a steady rate.
If you’re aching after a workout, why not check out our tips for soothing your aching muscles? We know just the products you need.