Guest Post – Preparing for a Run

Posted: June 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I am loving all the guest posts related to running. Running isn’t something I am too familiar with (yet), so it is great to learn some new things and expose this info to my wonderful readers as well. Now time for Amanda’s great post…

Amanda from RunToTheFinish here to talk about some little tips and things you may be forgetting before you dash out for that stress busting run!

MiamiMarathon[1]

Walk out the door and go…that’s the simple premise that draws many of us to running for exercise or weight loss or stress relief.   The truth of the matter is that to have a really good run, you need to take just a few minutes before you start the engines to get everything going your way.

Following are some well known pre-preparations and my thoughts on how well the work. These are not race day strategies, but every day running strategies.

Walking
Proven:  A number of studies have shown now that walking for up to 8 minutes prior to a run will ensure your muscles are warm and can result in being able to run up to 10% further.  I completely agree with this one and have been doing it for years. It’s so easy to jump right in to the run, but to treat your body right you need to allow the muscles to warm up.

Yoga
Debatable: Run For Life recommends a short yoga session prior to the run. I have tried this a few times and can’t say that I have found any notable difference in my run. I also dislike the idea of static stretching based on what we now know about our muscles needing to warm up.

Active Stretching
Proven: Active stretching, much like walking, helps to wake up your muscles. Ryan Hall and many other notable runners do things before starting runs. I like to use this to warm up my legs and have noticed a DRAMATIC decrease in any ITB tension in my runs due to this alone.   For me this involves swinging my leg forward and back, then sideways across my body.

Eating
Debatable: Runners World says you should eat 800 cals prior to a marathon…uh I am guessing they would like me to eat roughly 400 then prior to my long runs…folks neither of those things happen because I would be upchucking the whole way.  BUT I do know that without proper fuel my run may also fall apart.  I don’t *need* to eat for runs under 5 miles, but usually snack on a few nuts or a handful of cereal.  For anything longer, I try a slice of bread with PB and a handful of cereal.  However, many distance runners like Pam Reed say your body will run on fat and fuel itself just fine…so I say figure out what you need to feel strong!

What are your pre-run rituals?  Are you spending enough time getting your body ready for a good run?

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3 Comments to “Guest Post – Preparing for a Run”
  1. The breakfast thing is still something I have issues with – it’s hard to find that perfect balance between too much and too little. Both can end horribly…

  2. I completely agree with you about eating before a run. If I don’t eat at all, I’m famished. If I eat too much, I’m sluggish. The best I’ve come up with is to eat a small breakfast about an hour before a run, but honestly, if I have to wait an hour to get out the door, I’m probably not going.

  3. AWESOME! I agree with all of these tips!!! I also want to say how IMPORTANT sleep is!

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