Isn’t it amazing when you have a post idea completely spontaneously. I’ll be honest, I have at least 60 ideas all laid out on a spreadsheet under the different categories that I write about so I can schedule in posts that are relevant. Today’s post however is a result of today’s running and the things I think I should do when preparing for a run before I hit the road.
I’m a total nightmare most of the time and my trail/road runs are usually sporadic and based on a spur of the moment thing that means I rarely get far before it all goes to sh*t. Give me a treadmill at the gym and I’m great. Gimme a road, and guaranteed something will come up, move around or run out.
Shouldn’t preparing for a run be the first thing I do. I’m supposed to be training to take on my first half marathon later this year and so far I’ve managed four outdoor runs in a month. Okay, I did have an ankle injury for a while so had to take it easy and found that the treadmill and support helped. I really need to kick arse and get out on the tarmac.
I also had this great training plan and of course, we moved, our new house wasn’t ready, travelling to clients and all the other every day family emergencies means that I haven’t been able to do anywhere near as much training as I should have. Fingers crossed we’ll have our keys at the end of this week and with the countryside right outside my front door. There really will be NO excuse but to get out and explore will there?
prepare your route
When I first started running last year I made a vital mistake that I imagine a fair few people do. I got all the gear, the trainers, the phone armband thing. Filled up my water bottle and donned some lovely new headphones and off I went for my very first run. I got to the end of the road and then… PANIC. Christ, I don’t know where to run. Can I avoid the roads, should I go in the woods, where is there the least crossings, and people for that matter. It was just a bloody nightmare.
I’ve since started using the Strava app which you can log into on the desktop and set new routes for yourself. It’s actually really handy as you can not only plan your route but it tells you all the interesting stuff like elevation, how many miles/km etc so you get an idea of the distances and can adjust to suit your training needs.
It really does help to know where you are going. These past 2 days I set a specific route and my runs went as smoothly as they could, even with a large dopey dog and nine year old on a bike tagging along. I even managed a new PB and hit 32.55 minutes for a 5K. Could not be happier.
do not underestimate dehydration
When I first set out on the road I really didn’t imagine just how much water was going to be my best friend. I had a small water bottle that I used and ran out so early that I had to cut a lot of runs short. I’ve recently acquired a lovely new Science in Sport bottle which is a godsend as it’s quite large, sturdy, easy to hold and just about lasts my 5K runs when outdoors.
I also discovered that energy gels, jelly babies and other small things promising to help with energy are amazing for longer races. I used 2 High 5 gels on my first 10K race which happened to also be one of those tough rus through the forest with huge inclines yikes. I did it though. Just…
stretch, stretch, stretch
I can not recommend this enough. There is a lot of research that suggests it is good for you and a lot that states it doesn’t make any difference. I don’t do any intense kind of stretching but personally find a few basic leg stretches and some movement before any impact at least wakes up my muscles a little for the journey ahead.
I also find Yoga is a great way to warm up both before and after a workout. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and follow some amazing enthusiasts that I can learn from and it is great for relaxation and relieving sore muscles too.
track your bodily functions/movements
Yes, this is exactly what I mean. Mate, there is nothing worse then getting half way through a run and then having to clench those cheeks to avoid sh*tting yourself while you waddle on like a duck. The fact that I have an irrational fear of public toilets just makes this so much worse.
I used to be a regular morning toilet seat friend but at the moment with all the stress it’s a little turbulent. This is a nightmare when planning to run most days as I can never really be sure when I’m going to be able to go crazy on the pavement.
Peppermint tea is your friend. Also perhaps adding a little fibre to your diet or if you have a HUGE race coming up. Medication may be the answer. I am not a medical professional though so please consult your GP before taking any medications.
See how much fun it can be preparing for a run? The fact that needing the toilet on my run today inspired this post is pure gold.
sore today, strong tomorrow.
– Emma –
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