Exercise is one of the best stress-busters for those who believe in it. Sweating it out in any form brings out renewed energy, both physically and mentally. Similarly, running unleashes vast amounts of energy and is one of the most vigorous workouts. Of late, running is a fad, and there are more and more people vying for the half and full marathons.
Hydration: Before getting into a running mode, take a minute to think if you have had enough water for the day. The amount of water consumed should be dependent on a number of factors including:
Weather/climatic factors including temperature, humidity etc.
Distance and speed of running
Toilet trips should be done during the day
Consumption of alcohol or caffeine – these will leave you dehydrated
Amount of water in the last 2 hours
Level of thirst
Drink water about 30 minutes before you begin to run, but not to the point that you feel water splashing in the belly and have to stop at the restroom every half an hour.
Food: While it is not advisable to run on an empty stomach, it is not required to eat a full meal before running. Make it easy for the stomach by eating something light like a banana or oats. These are easily digestible and do not tire you out.
Shoes: The most important of all, ensure you are wearing running shoes which are lightweight. Ideally, the right shoes should not cause pain in the shin or the knees and can stand the long runs. Bad shoes can cause severe damage, therefore, it is always wise to invest in a good pair of running shoes.
Work towards a target: Running without having a target is not of much use. Your target could be in the distance covered, time you ran, calories burned, or matching your personal best timing. Whatever you choose, with each run, keeping the route, time, and distance in mind, set a target. Track your run against that target. This can help establish personal best times and help improve performance with other runners too. It also helps get a feeling of accomplishment and a purpose.