The 3 things every runner should do include: 1) drinking water, 2) incorporating a warm up and cool down, and 3) utilizing mobility techniques.
Why are these things important? These strategies decrease your chances of injury. So let’s give you some strategies so you can keep running.
There are many reasons to make sure you are staying properly hydrated. The key focus for this article is the lubrication of your joints. When cartilage is dehydrated your joints tend to grind versus slide. Even mild dehydration can affect your performance, can cause muscle cramping, headaches and dizziness. The big picture is to drink about 64 ounces of water per day. An easy way to accomplish this is by drinking 1-2 glasses of water with each meal. If you are going to run first thing in the morning, then drink a glass of water about 30-60 minutes before you head out. Concerned this will fill up your bladder during your run? Then add an electrolyte tablet or even just a pinch of salt to that water to aid in water-absorption.
It is very common for individuals to be chronically dehydrated without knowing it. This dehydration can be caused by a wide range of reasons. The most obvious is not drinking enough water. Other reasons may include eating too many processed foods that are high in sodium and not eating enough water-rich fruits and vegetables.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
The goal of a warm up is to prepare your body for the workout you are about to perform, in this case running. An effective warm up increases your heart rate, your body temperature and eases you into movements similar to running. The warm up should increase gradually and last about 10-15 minutes. For help with proper warm up movements for running check out physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starrett at MWOD.
Now a cool down is a great opportunity for you to help your body recover and reap the benefits of your run. Like most people you are probably strapped for time and not cooling down. Instead of running all the way home. Take the last 5 minutes to jog or walk home. Perform a couple of easy movements like arm swings, leg swings, and trunk rotations.
Then once you get home take 5 minutes to perform a couple of mobility exercises such as using the foam roller on your tight quads or calves.
A huge foundation at Brush Park Gymnasium is teaching our gym members how to take care of their own bodies with proper nutrition, rest, and recovery. Mobility techniques assist in recovery and are from physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starrett at Mobility WOD.
Most people will think of mobility as using the foam roller and stretching. We go above and beyond this view for a more effective approach. We are talking about using mobility techniques with tools such as the foam roller, lacrosse ball, and bands to restore normal range of motion to decrease your chances of injury.
Throughout your day you are spending large amounts of time in poor positions commonly in your neck, shoulders, hips and back. These positions negatively affect your tissues and your range of motion. They can cause pain or discomfort and expedite normal wear and tear on your body.
That is why at Brush Park Gymnasium every workout will start and stop with mobility techniques.