Five Unexpected Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Run
Last updated on : April 11 2022
Last year, in the post "How Cycling Makes You Fit, Healthy, and Boosts Your Mood," we explained that riding a bike can help keep your muscles strong, manage your weight, and feel better overall.
However, as fun as riding a bike is, some people prefer to run. Running has multiple benefits, like being an excellent cardio exercise and keeping your mind sharp.
But starting a running routine is not as easy as people might expect. Beginners might feel too exhausted to do it consistently or hurt themselves due to using the wrong pair of shoes.
So, before we start running laps at full speed, let's review some unexpected tips that can help you get the most out of your runs.
1. Clothing Affects Performance
If you have gone for a run in a city anytime in the last few years, you may have noticed women wearing clothing from high-end brands like Lululemon and Peloton.
These are trendy brands that have advertised well and attracted innumerable customers and admirers. However, believe it or not, wearing the proper clothing might improve your workouts.
As The Atlantic described years ago, when Lululemon was breaking through, the success of brands like these relies partly on consumers' belief that nice workout clothes positively affect their exercise. And research suggests the brands may be onto something.
A recent survey revealed that 9 in 10 regular gym-goers claim that performance-based clothing helps them push themselves harder. In other words, people who dress in nice, dedicated athletic clothing find it easier to exercise harder or more effectively.
It may sound odd, but this strongly suggests that you're likely to get the most out of your runs if you suit up in the right apparel. After all, suitable clothing can make you feel more appealing before, during, and after you exercise, making you think that you are slowly making progress towards your goals.
2. The Right Shoes Matter, Too
Meanwhile, the right shoes will benefit your running routine more directly. A tight grip protects you from slipping, while finding the right balance between a robust build and flexibility around the ankle may defend you against overpronation (which plagues even a lot of seasoned runners).
A well-designed midsole can also reduce the impact of your runs, preventing injuries to the knees. Some shoes might even help you run a bit faster.
While we can quickly point to a few leading apparel brands above, the shoe picture is somewhat more complex and varied.
The shape of the Adidas Ultraboost 22 is the standard for technologically advanced shoes built to support athletes, with the model being the result of millions of foot scans. It is one of the most advanced models in history for matching the instep height and heel anatomy of female runners, and it furthers the Ultraboost's growing reputation at the top of the heap.
It's also worth remembering that the name Ultraboost comes from the small capsules these model stores on the sole. They are designed not just to bring comfort to the runner. They were developed to store the energy we use at the beginning of each step, only to release it afterward, helping the runner achieve higher speeds and longer steps with less effort.
That said, if there's one truth in running shoes, there is no one option for everyone. For instance, as a competitor to the Ultraboost series, the Nike Vaporfly offers a more pronounced effect in its propulsion-like functionality.
This functionality may disrupt the wearer's stability, such that some will be uncomfortable in the shoes. But experienced runners or those who have long embraced Nikes may well find them tremendously helpful shoes for comfortable and satisfying runs.
The technology of the Vaporfly is so effective that some athletes are asking for them to be excluded from competitions, considering that they give an unfair advantage to runners.
These are only two examples of high-end running shoes, but they illustrate why the proper shoes matter. Different options have different features, and for the most comfortable runs, it's crucial to pick the right pair for you.
3. Running Analysis Is Your Ally
Running is a high-impact activity. As a result, it's not uncommon to develop different injuries and issues that may affect your ability to continue with your exercise routine.
But the cause of these problems and their solution might not be as simple as people might think.
We might not be aware of this, but we tend to position our feet at an angle to our legs when we run. Depending on how wide this angle is, we can increase our chances of twisting our ankles while we run.
The height of our knees and hips when we run also affects our workout routine by allowing or preventing us from reaching higher speeds.
However, there are things you can do to improve your running style, making it faster and safer –– including speaking with a running expert.
By using unique cameras and sensors placed at specific angles while running on a treadmill, experts may observe how your ankle and leg line behave with each step and analyze the position of your pelvis and knees at different moments of your run.
Afterward, they might recommend a specific type of running shoe to offer protection for your ankles and maybe a better grip.
They might also help you correct your running posture to prevent injuries and improve your performance, which may require repeated observations and guidance.
In short, a specialist can train you how to run so that you get the most out of your ability and avoid unnecessary strain on your body.
4. Stretching Is Good, But Foam Rolling Is Better
There are many good reasons to stretch before running. For example, it improves circulation, which in turn prevents muscle injury. Additionally, stretching increases your range of motion, making it easier to achieve (and maintain) the correct posture while running.
But some experts believe that foam rolling represents an even more effective technique you can embrace instead of lengthy stretching routines.
Foam rolling involves balancing part of your body on a cylinder made of compressed foam. It's meant to provide a more relaxed approach to stretching while also treating soreness and muscle knots.
Additionally, a study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine suggests that foam rolling may also contribute to restoring your strength after working out.
It's a win-win, in other words, and an excellent way to get as much as you possibly can out of your runs.
Using a foam roller can be as easy as supporting your weight in your arms while letting your calves roll on the roller. Experts also recommend using it to roll over your hips while using your hands and the tips of your feet for support.
However, it's always better to talk to a specialist trainer before starting a new routine or ask your doctor if you have any previous injuries.
5. Take Advantage of Music
It may be more common to see people running with headphones than without them these days.
And while it seems primarily like a way for people to keep themselves entertained while running, research has indicated that people who listen to music tend to last longer in their workouts than people who do not.
Thus, as simple of a tip as it may seem, it's essential to recognize that taking advantage of music has real benefits.
Research also suggests that choosing your music tracks might be beneficial. Instead of relying on your gym's well-curated list of songs, it's better to prepare your playlist and set it up on your smartphone.
After all, while some people may prefer exciting electronic music, others might find classic 80's rock bands or even soundtracks as the best way to stay motivated while running.
Whatever you decide, remember that you need to stay alert for cars and other runners if you are running on the streets, so it may be a good idea to take your headphones off before crossing the street.
Running is an excellent way to stay fit and combat stress. But it's also a high-impact activity that requires careful consideration and preparation if you're to get the most out of it.
If you follow the tips above, you may radically increase your chances of sticking with your routine and sustainably bettering your health.
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The Kewl Shop
The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.
Editor: Charles Fitzgerald