Although running is a great way to exercise and has many health benefits, it has the potential to be a miserable experience. Running can either be the best part of your day or the worst part of your day. In order to make running more enjoyable, make sure that you are taking care of yourself before and after your workouts. To correctly prepare yourself for a run, never do these 9 things.
1. Eat too much
One of the worst things you can do before a run: eat a big meal. Yes, I know, that food was delicious while you were eating it, but you’re going to regret it a mile into your run. Your stomach will thank you if you hold off from feasting, and stick to these recommended pre-run snacks instead.
2. Drink too much water and forget to go the bathroom
Don’t ever leave the house before going the bathroom. All that water you drank to hydrate yourself needs to leave your body. If you skip the bathroom, you’ll probably end up begging for one around your second mile when there’s none nearby.
3. Avoid water
On the other hand, don’t skip water completely to avoid the bathroom. Nothing is worse than starting a run and realizing how dry your throat is. You’ll quickly discover water fountains aren’t as common as you wish they’d be. Check out this article to learn how to better balance your water intake before runs.
4. Drink alcohol
Pretty obvious why this is a no go. Alcohol dehydrates you, and if you’ve had a few too many before you go running, your balance and sense of direction can be inhibited. Keep in mind that if you are going out the night before you run, make sure to keep drinking water to help offset the effects of alcohol. Also, make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep. If you still wake up hungover, drink one of these smoothies before you go on a run.
5. Not break in your new running shoes
Always wear your running shoes around your house or while you’re doing errands around town to break them in. If you don’t, you may be forced to stop running early due to horrible blisters on your heels or arches (plus you’ll have to painfully limp home).
6. Static stretch
Save the static stretching, such as touching your toes, until after you finish running. Instead, before your run, you want to do a dynamic warm up. Lunges, arm swings, leg swings, high knees are all great exercises. Dynamic exercises are the ideal warm-up as they help reduce muscle friction and elevate your heart rate.
7. Start an episode of Netflix
Netflix is deadly to your exercise plans. It kills any motivation you have. One click on an episode and suddenly three hours have gone by and you’re in the middle of another Netflix binge. Save it for until you after you run when you can cuddle up in your blankets and not move for another six hours.
8. Start a text conversation
You’re about to walk out the door to start your run, but somebody texts you and you respond. Ten minutes later, you’re still texting them. Since it’s a little awkward if you randomly stop responding for an hour, wait to start that conversation until you finish running.
9. Doubt yourself
Stop psyching yourself out. Your greatest enemy is your own mind. The weather is great outside and you’re going to feel fabulous after this run. You’re a runner, no matter how fast or slow you go. Stop talking yourself out of this run and have some faith in yourself.