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4 Little Known Secrets of Runners

Fitday Editor

Runners can't reach their potential without taking advantage of certain athletic practices. Runners should vary their training sessions, remember to warm up and cool down, drink plenty of water and eat properly. Here are some of the secrets of runners.

Good Runners Warm up, Pace Themselves, and Cool Down

It's important to warm up before any workout. When you exercise with cold muscles, you increase your risk of injury. Jog slowly for ten minutes before you begin your run to warm up. After ten minutes have passed, you may want to run a bit faster than usual for a few minutes, and then return to your normal pace.

Pace yourself, whether racing or training. Set your pace from the beginning, and make it one that you can sustain for the entire run. If you find that you can't sustain your pace, slow down and shorten the distance of your run. Set yourself a slower pace for the next few runs.

Cooling down helps prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, so you won't be sore after your workout. Stretching after a run also helps keep your muscles from growing permanently shorter as they grow stronger.

Good Runners Have Good Form

Running, like any other type of exercise, is easier when done properly. Use good form when running or jogging.

  • Keep your shoulders back; extend your chest.
  • Don't clench your fists; keep your hands loose as you run.
  • Move your arms in time with your legs. If you don't keep your shoulders loose, they may begin to get sore during a run or feel sore afterward.

Good Runners Keep Track of Their Progress

You don't have to time every run, but it's a good idea to take a short timed run every two to four weeks to keep track of your progress. You should do your best to run the timed run as fast as you can. This can help you keep track of your progress so you'll know when to push harder.

Good Runners Give Themselves Time to Rest

Even professional runners give themselves time to rest and recover in between workouts. If you're not running every day, that's alright, because your muscles need recovery time so that they can grow stronger for your next run.

When you exercise, and epecially when you exercise hard, tiny tears form in the fiber of your muscles. Your muscles can take up to 72 hours to recover after a workout, though for most people 36 to 48 hours are sufficient.

During this recovery period, your body is building new muscles to repair and replace the old. When you work out again, your muscles will be stronger. If you fail to give yourself adequate recovery time and run hard every day, you'll suffer muscle fatigue and muscle damage.

Allow yourself adequate recovery time after a run. Stagger hard runs and easy runs so that you don't run hard two days in a row. Run no more frequently than six days a week.

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