There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting and staying in shape, but we have some running hacks and a bit of advice that can help make your training and workouts even better.
Laying out your outfit the night before each run helps you get in the right mindset before going to bed. That way, when that alarm goes off, it’ll be easy and natural to take off without hesitation.
1. Lay your outfit out the night before you run
2. Turn on bright lights instead of hitting the snooze buttonIf you plan on running early in the morning, set your alarm across the room so you aren’t tempted to hit the snooze button. Then when it goes off, flip on bright lights. This stimulates the production of serotonin, which will help you wake up faster.
3. Avoid blisters by wearing pantyhose under your socksDon’t laugh. Whether you want to call them nylon stockings or pantyhose, it actually works. Infantrymen have been known to wear pantyhose under their socks because it helps to keep their skin from chafing. If you don’t believe tough guys wear pantyhose, here’s the proof over at the Stars and Stripes blog!
4. Stop static stretchingWhile many people think static stretching (holding muscles in a stretched position for 10-30 seconds) prevents injury, it can actually decrease your running performance. If you want to warm up before you run, try dynamic stretching by using controlled body and leg movements to improve range of motion, increase heart rate, loosen muscles, and amplify blood flow to help you run more efficiently.
If you are an avid runner, shin splints are a known enemy. It is important to take the time to build muscles in order to prevent injury. Try drawing the alphabet with your toes. It sounds silly, but it can strengthen your Tibialis Anterior, which will help to avoid shin splints and ankle injury.
5. Strengthen your muscles
6. Get creative in your shoe tying to eliminate fit issues and discomfortShoes that are too tight or loose are more than enough to harsh your running vibe. Get coached about the best way to tie your running shoes for your foot type here.
7. Make a running mix with songs that have more than 120 beats per minute (BPM)It is scientifically proven that music can motivate you to have better workouts. Fast music is great because it is energizing and distracts you from giving up. Findings show the ideal workout tempo is between 120 and 140 beats per minute. Check out this list of top 10 songs that fall within the prime beat range.
8. Running shoes are like cars, so don’t forget to track their milesRunning shoes typically need to be replaced after 200 to 500 miles of wear (depending on a few factors like how much you weigh, how much you’re running, and how long you’ve had the shoes). If you run for a while with sneakers that are past their prime, you’ll probably start to notice aches, pains, and just general discomfort.
An app like MapMyRun will let you log mileage on specific sneakers after each run. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but after your shoes hit their limit, be prepared to move on. Check out some great new shoe options here!
9. Set goals with tangible resultsFor many of us, a challenging goal drives our motivation, which makes goals an important part of an exercise routine. Maybe that means tackling a challenge that seems just of reach (we’re looking at you, Philly Marathon!) or something little, like rewarding yourself with new gear every 50 miles you record. Even if your goal is simply to “get in shape,” track and reward progress along the way.
10. Create workout habitsWe can be our own biggest enablers and inhibiters, but we have to hold ourselves accountable if we want to achieve our goals. During the first month, make a schedule and stick to it. After you start to build strength and endurance, you’ll see results, which will help to keep you motivated. You’ll soon find that you actually crave your daily run.
If you are the type that needs a little additional motivation, try working out with a friend. Knowing there will be someone knocking at your door to go for a run makes it much harder to stay in bed.
11. Get an exercise buddy
12. Switch it upDoing the same exercise routine every day is not just boring, it also doesn’t give your different muscle groups enough time to relax and repair. Keep it fresh with different running terrains and exercises to target varying muscle groups.
13. Wear gear you loveGood workout clothes make all of the difference. There is something really special about lacing up a new pair of running shoes or putting on a fresh outfit that you know will let your skin breathe. It never fails to get you in the right frame of mind to get out there and conquer the trails.
Those are our running tips! What are yours? Share your favorite workout hacks below!