Okay, no matter what you do, running is going to be hard work. It’s rewarding, but it’s also tough. Nevertheless, there are some secret hacks to making your running experience simpler, more enjoyable, and better for you. Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your daily jog.
1. Stop stretching before a run. Static stretching is one of the worst things you can do before a run because your muscles are cold. It’s much better to gently warm up, and stretch the muscles needed. Image via Prevention.
2. Create incentives. Reward yourself for your hard work. You could get a small treat when you’ve hit a certain weekly mileage, or you could start training for an exciting race. Image via The Muse.
3. Alternate between running and walking. Walking is great exercise too. Try intervals during your run and see if it helps you go for longer.Image via Women & Wellness.
4. Invest in your shoes. There’s really nothing more important for a runner. Spend the time researching and trying on shoes. This isn’t a purchase you want to skimp on, as shoes with a poor fit or a lack of support can create a slew of injuries. I’ve always been a Nike gal, and I LOVE these Lunarflynits!
5. Try running for shorter periods of time more frequently. Maybe running for an hour is overwhelming. Splitting the time in half and running in the morning and evening is a great way to keep you going. Image via Women’s Health Magazine.
6. Strengthen your calves, ankles, and feet to avoid shin splints. Shin splints can really disrupt your running routine, they are an insanely painful injury that almost every runner faces at one point. However, they can be avoided with simple & thoughtful stretches (make sure these are done after you’ve properly warmed up!).
7. Make a playlist with fast-paced and up-beat songs. Nothing gets me going like some tunes. You can make your own playlist or subscribe to running stations. Image via She Knows.
8. Make sure your fists are lightly clenched. This is the best way to avoid straining your arm muscles, and wasting that precious energy on clenching your fists. Image via Running with Mascara.
9. Prepare a delicious after-workout snack ahead of time. You’ll be more motivated to finish your run, and you won’t have to spend time preparing food when you’re starving and exhausted. Image via Healthy Mummy.
10. Try some weight-training every other day. To achieve your peak performance, you’ve got to be cross training and strengthening other muscles.You will be surprised at how much your pace (and overall endurance) improves my pumping some iron. Image via Great Healthy Day.
11. Find some awesome apps to track your progress and encourage you. There are apps that can track your distance, heart rate, pace, you name it.There is even an app that will help you train for a marathon! There is an app to track any goal! Image via Running Shoes Guru.
12. Try a podcast or an audiobook for long runs. Becoming invested in a narrative can help the time go quicker, and you’ll finally be able to finish those books you’ve always wanted to read. Image via Active.
13. Wear your stinky running clothes in the shower. You won’t stink up the house and you’ll save yourself a load of laundry. Image via Glamour.
14. Get better sleep. Not necessarily more sleep, just better. This may mean powering off electronics sooner, going to be earlier, or getting a more comfortable pillow. Image via Women’s Health Magazine.
15. Lay out your clothes ahead of time. This will help you feel more committed to running, and you’ll have fewer excuses when it’s time to hit the pavement. Image via Carrots N Cake.
16. Wear pantyhose to prevent blisters. You’ll probably want to cut off the pantyhose and turn them into socks, but no matter how you wear them, they’ll keep your feet from rubbing. Image via Women’s Running.
17. On long runs, take a credit card, phone, and toilet paper with you. You’ll be able to fuel up on water or snacks if necessary, call in emergencies, and hear mother nature’s call. Image via Vanity House Fitness.
18. Use duct tape. This can help with blisters, and it can also waterproof your shoes! Image via Aussie Camino.
Don’t wear headphones when you run. You want to know what’s going on around you. This goes especially for women. Play your music when you are relaxing after your run. With headphones on you can’t hear traffic, bicyclists, or anyone or thing that means to do you harm.
A Human says
Bill I’ll wear whatever I want regardless if I’m a women or a man
Evelyn mcroberts says
right i think so to
Rachel Jones says
That’s if you blast them. I wear my low enough that I can hear what’s going on around me and I look around. There’s no way in hell I could run without music.
Evelyn Wilson/Mcroberts says
i know right i even listen to music when cleaning…i cant without because its hard to focus
Spoken like a true runner, Bill. Run and confront your thoughts and take in the scenery. Don’t escape and hide in the music. Thanks for pointing out what others are thinking – all of us have to be alert and aware of what’s around us, unfortunately, women are more targeted than men.
Quinn Elest says
Thanks so much Amber. This post has been really helpful and it is a big part of why I can now run faster.
Lindsey Shipman says
#13 makes no sense to me… WHAT?!
lol that’s what I was thinking!!
Just an idea….when you get done with your run jump in the shower with your running clothes, rinse and wash them, then lay them out to dry. I do the same thing after swimming! You may want to throw them in the actual washing machine after a few wears 🙂
Tina in Maryland says
I listen to podcast but only have one earbud in so I can hear what’s going on around me AND interact with people around me.
Wearing stinky running clothes in the shower is just stupid!
For blisters on your feet out baggies or bread bags over your socks then out on your shoes. You’ll be amazed at how they won’t rub on your shoes.