What Should You Eat Before A Run?
Ideally, you’d like to have your run go as you’ve planned. However, some things can spurn up at any moment to derail your plan. Having to stay late for work, family emergencies, or even hunger can ruin your run. Yes, hunger. Having something digested in your body before your workout is essential, but exactly what should you eat?
Before you run, you don’t want to have a stomach full to the point where you feel bloated. You will, however, want something in your stomach, so you don’t keel over halfway through your run. Finding the right snack before you run is essential to having a quality run. Check out some of our favorites below.
Peanut butter is full of fat, protein, and fiber. The beauty of peanut butter is that it provides a slow and sustainable release of energy. Fortunately, peanut butter is great with almost anything. On toast, a bagel, whole wheat wrap, plain bread, or even a banana, peanut butter is one of the best foods to have before a run.
Oranges are high because they provide more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C, and they can help prevent you from becoming thirsty during your run because of their natural juiciness. The vitamins within an orange also help prevent muscle injuries, and they replace collagen within muscle fibers that are broken down during exercise.
Dates contain natural sugars which make them the perfect source of concentrated carbohydrates to provide a little “pick-me-up” before your run. Dried dates also packed with potassium which can aid muscle function.
Carrots and Hummus
Carrots and hummus are the perfect carb and protein combination to provide you with a boost of energy. Not only they offer you a boost of energy, but the sodium found in hummus’ can make you thirsty leading you to drink more water before your run. Also, research studies have found that carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which can help defend your skin from sun damage.
The reason oatmeal is so good for you before a run is because it sticks to your ribs, without feeling heavy. This means you’ll be full and should stay full for the duration of your run. Plain oatmeal is the healthiest option. However, flavored instant oatmeal can be beneficial for longer runs by providing your body with more energy from the added sugars.
Packed with carbohydrates, sweet potatoes offer your body abundance energy that will sustain your body for your run. Loaded with vitamin A sweet potatoes are also great for your immune system, and the soluble fiber from the skin can help reduce belly fat. Give yourself an hour before you run through as sweet potatoes take a little longer to digest than most foods.
These are just a few great options for running in the morning. Running on an empty stomach is never good. Make sure your body is fueled with the right snacks before your run to ensure that you get the most advantageous run possible.
7 Common Running Injuries
Running is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, running regularly can lead to injuries. Eighty percent of runners experience some injuries each year. As shown in studies, most of the injuries below are caused by overworking and overusing. Even though they are a common occurrence, these injuries can be preventable and avoidable.
1. Achilles Tendinitis
Also called heel tendinitis, Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation of an Achilles tendon. Aching, swelling, and even burning are common symptoms. The pain usually occurs during or after running or working out. A common cause of Achilles tendinitis is when a runner stops running altogether for an extended period, and then tries to pick up right where they left off.
2. Ankle Sprain
Spraining an ankle can be one of the most painful experiences in the fitness and active world. Graded on a three-level scale, an ankle sprain occurs when the ankle itself is turned, rolled, or twisted inward or outward from its usual position. In an ankle sprain, the tendons are themselves are strained, stretched, or torn beyond their limits, therefore, causing pain.
3. Iliotibial-Band Syndrome
Iliotibial-band syndrome is pain that is caused by overuse. It’s caused when connective tissue rubs against the thighbone, causing discomfort between the knee and hip, although in some cases can occur below the knee as well. Swelling can be a symptom of iliotibial band syndrome, but discomfort is the primary symptom.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
Inflammation at the bottom of your heel or the arch of your foot is the cause of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be extremely painful, and typically the pain is worse in the morning. The pain is often described as “feeling like a bruise or an ache.” The pain, however, can subside and gradually go away once you begin walking around.
5. Strained Muscles
Much like spraining an ankle, straining a muscle occurs when the muscles are strained, stretched, or torn beyond their limits. Common places for muscle strains are the lower back, hamstrings, neck, and calf. Those who experienced strained muscles typically experience muscle spasms and limited movement.
6. Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee is medically known as chondromalacia patellae. The pain from the runner’s knee usually occurs in the front of your kneecap, although in some cases, it can be around or behind your kneecap. Swelling, popping, or grinding are feelings that can occur in your knee, while bending, walking, squatting, and kneeling often causes the pain to increase. Walking up or downstairs can also cause the pain to flare up.
7. Shin Splints
One of the most common running-related injuries, shin splints occur along the shinbone in the lower part of your leg. Micro-tears in muscles, tendons, and bone tissue are what cause the pain related to shin splints. Although not detrimental, if shin splints aren’t adequately rested and taken care during ongoing running or training, shin splints could turn into a stress fracture.
Preventing These Injuries
Luckily all of the injuries listed above are preventable and, if they do occur, treatable and manageable.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
This is the most important tip for preventing injuries. Stretching your muscles will have them prepared for your run. Stretching will have your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy to give your joints the proper range of motion. Even on your off days when you aren’t running, it’s still important to stretch.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
A common mistake made among beginning runners is they don’t warm-up or cool down. Warming up will get your cardiovascular system going and prepare it for the upcoming workout. Cooling down after your run or workout will allow your body to gradually decrease back to its resting rate, instead of slamming on the brakes so to speak.
Increase your distances incrementally to avoid injury. Step up slowly from one run to the next and make significant changes over several runs on different days. For example, don’t run two miles one day and try to run 15 the next. Or, if you want to increase your weekly mileage, add one mile on per day instead of all five on one day. Remember, most injuries are caused by overworking and overusing.
Take A Natural Joint and Muscle Supplement
By adding bone and muscle vitamins and minerals to your diet, you can reduce the risk of injuries while running. It is essential to keep your body in great shape, both internally and externally. Supplements play a critical role in the assistance of overall health, and certain types can benefit active individuals. Glucosamine, MSM, ginger, and turmeric are all excellent choices for runners looking to lubricate joints, reduce inflammation and pain, and strengthen bones. You can find all of these ingredients (and more) in AgelessJOINTS by Ageless Nutrition. All of our natural supplements are made in the USA and come with a 60-day money-back guarantee. Feel better and enjoy your daily run even more!
5 Tips for Running in Cold Weather
When it comes to running, there are a ton of excuses that people make as to why they won’t go. “Not enough time,” “too sore,” or “too busy with the kids.” Although these may sometimes be a justified excuse, one excuse that shouldn’t prevent you from running is “it’s too cold out.” Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t run. There are steps you can take to make sure that you stay warm and that your body is ready to run in cold weather.
1. Dress Properly
First and foremost, you must wear the right attire. Finding that comfortable spot between too much and too little is essential. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer. You should be slightly cool at the beginning of your run because as your run progresses, your body will naturally warm up. Too many layers will cause you to become too hot during your run, making you uncomfortable, while too little layers will cause you to become too cold. Being too cold can cause muscles to tighten up, which could lead to injury. Finally, make sure that you’re wearing shoes with minimal mesh. Mesh allows heat to escape and also allows water, snow, or slush to get in.
2. Warm Up for Your Run
Moving around and getting your blood flowing, without breaking a sweat, is another essential tip for running in cold weather. You can run in place, up and down your stairs, or even jump rope. Having your body warmed up will have muscles ready to go, but more importantly, make going out into the cold, not so cold.
3. Work with the Wind
You should try to start your run going into the wind and end your run with the wind at your back. This will make it, so you aren’t getting hit by the wind after you’ve broken a sweat. If that’s not possible, you can also break your run up into periods of time where you run back and forth. Run for 15 minutes into the wind, then turn around and run 15 minutes back in the direction you just came from. There are also products out there where you can cover exposed pieces of skin to prevent frostbite from extreme conditions.
4. Change Quickly After Your Run
Your core body temperature is going to start dropping the second you stop running. It’s essential to get out of your wet, damp clothes to avoid a case of the chills. Adding a hot drink like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate right after your run will help warm your body back up too.
5. Don’t Run For A Personal Record
Finally, know that you’re not going to set a new PR running in the cold weather. Blood vessels constrict, and joints become stiff when temperatures are below 40 degrees, therefore affecting your performance. Knowing that you’re not going to blaze through your run is important because trying to do too much, especially in the cold, could potentially cause an injury.
The cold weather shouldn’t be a deterrent when it comes to exercising in cold weather. Wearing the proper gear and treating your body the right way is the only way to make running in the cold an enjoyable and beneficial part of your workout.