Let’s clear up some of those FAQs you may have as an up-and-coming running star. IS RUNNING BAD FOR MY KNEES? While any athletic endeavor carries potential risks, a sensible running plan that includes recovery should keep you going strong. Seek medical advice before starting your running journey.
SHOULD I STRETCH BEFORE I RUN? Traditional static stretches aren’t great for cold muscles. Leave the stretching for after you warm up. Hip, quad and hamstring stretches, as well as more dynamic movements like high knees, A-Skips and B-Skips, are a great way to prepare your body for the run.
DOES RUNNING MEAN I CAN EAT WHATEVER I LIKE? No, running doesn’t mean you can have free reign on your favorite junk food. Food is fuel, so a nutritious diet will help you to run better. But remember, balance is the key. So if you want some cake, treat yourself!
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO HAUL MY WATER AND PHONE WHILE I RUN? Look into shorts with functional pockets, smartphone armbands and lightweight water bottle belts to carry the supplies you need. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUNNING ON A TREADMILL AND RUNNING OUTSIDE? The treadmill pulls the ground underneath your feet and eliminates wind resistance. It’s great on days when you can’t bear to battle the weather or want to decrease impact, as most treadmills are padded. WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH… You may have started noticing a few of the unusual things only runners notice. Let’s address the weird and wonderful World of Running. PEOPLE RUNNING IN GROUPS? Maybe they zipped by unnoticed before, but now you’re starting to spot these early-morning run clubbers. They can range widely in size, age range, experience level and intensity, but all run clubs have one thing in common: community. Come run with us at a physical NRC location near you. THOSE ELABORATE FANNY BELTS? Some runners doing super-long-distance training wear hydration belts to store snacks and drinks. You don’t need all these supplies yet, but hydration is important for all runners. You don’t always need to carry water for short, quick runs, but consider carrying water on a longer run. When possible, plan your run to take you past a water fountain, or carry cash so you can buy a drink while you’re out. THAT WEIRD PAIN IN MY SHINS? Runners call it shin splints. Shin splints are no fun and develop when you increase your training speed and intensity too quickly. One way to avoid them in the first place is by ramping up your training carefully. A good rule: on longer runs, don’t go more than 10% further than you’ve gone before. THIS ANNOYING SIDE ACHE? These are common, especially with beginners, because your body isn’t used to the jostling that running causes. If you get a cramp in your side, breathe deeply, pushing all the air out of your abdomen with each breath. The same jostling that causes your side-ache also can contribute to stomach upset. We feel your pain. Literally. Not to worry though. We’ve all been there. Over time you’ll learn how to modify your eating habits before you run to avoid these troubles. PEOPLE RUNNING BAREFOOT? Sure, it feels nice to go on a jog with soft grass and dirt underfoot. But, whatever you may have heard, you don’t need to rebuild your stride and buy zero-drop shoes to run “the right way.” The right way is your way.