Tips for Maximizing Running Performance

Every runner is an athlete.  Whether you’re training for your first race or you’ve crossed all fifty states off your race bucket list, it is important to take time to take care of your body.  Did you realize that you can easily decrease your risk of running injuries and increase your performance capabilities? Even the busiest runner can incorporate the following tips into his or her routine:

Stretch

A good stretch with proper form can take as little as five minutes before and after a workout. Stretching decreases the likelihood of stiffness and soreness following a workout, but the biggest benefit can come from stretching before a workout. If you want your body to perform at its best, it must be able to move through the full range of motion. Increasing flexibility allows your whole body to move more efficiently and decreases the risk of injury and discomfort.      

Equipment

Wearing the proper clothing and shoes decreases the risk of injury and takes as much time to incorporate into your routine as getting dressed for the run. Wearing properly fitted shoes means a reduced chance of blisters and foot injuries. Properly fitted shoes can also decrease the likelihood of pain in other joints along the kinetic chain up through the hip. Clothing that is too loose can cause chafing while clothing that is too tight can restrict motion. Choose running gear that is roomy enough to allow a full range of motion but not so loose that it rubs against the skin during motion

Hydration

Many “injuries” can stem from dehydration. Just like your car can’t run without gas, your body can’t operate at its best if you don’t hydrate properly. Physical endurance is closely tied with the body’s ability to perform regulatory functions. Even slight dehydration negatively affects all the body’s systems. An easy way to increase your water intake is to keep a water bottle at your desk or workstation and sip on it at regular intervals throughout the day. Additionally, water can be ingested through fresh fruits and vegetables, giving you another easy way to add water into your day.

Listen to Your Body

A day off for healing does is more beneficial than working out when you aren’t feeling well. Our bodies work best when they have a rest day as part of a training program. Pushing through a workout for the sake of completing is detrimental to training, as it can prolong a mild injury that may have healed with some rest.

Comprehensive Sports Medicine Care at Baptist Health:

We are a sports medicine program that’s dedicated to helping athletes prevent and overcome injuries.

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