Our staff loves running! From 100 meter sprints to 100 mile trail runs, we’ve got someone that has trained for it. Our shops exist so you can come talk to a friend who loves running just as much as you do. In the meantime, here’s some of the best tips our staff has come up with through decades and decades of training. If you have more specific questions for us, swing by one of our three locations!
Breaking in a New Pair of Running Shoes
With all of the technology that goes into engineering shoes these days, you still need to wear them around for the week in the office or running errands. Don’t try running a race with fresh shoes right out of the box. Start with some shorter runs, then test them on the longer ones.
Shoes Expected Life
Like most of these tips, this is very subjective. Some people are much harder on shoes than others. We would recommend that you switch your shoes out every 300-400 miles. Keeping a log of your miles and shoe usage (more on this a little further down) will definitely help you with that. Also, be sure to listen to your feet as they will be sure to let you know when it’s time for some new kicks. It also helps to have your shoes in rotation if possible. Wear pair A on Monday, pair B on Tuesday, pair A Wednesday…so on and so forth.
We all know shoes are important for running, but so is the rest of your apparel, especially as the miles/intensity increases. Cotton is the enemy! It traps water and heat, which leads to blisters and chafing. We actually wrote an article specifically about Cotton Socks vs. Running Socks!
When it comes to warming up, it’s time for dynamic, NOT static stretching. Think light skips, high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, walking lunges, hurdles, pendulum swings from the hip. Anything that activates your glutes to recruit those workhorse muscles is perfect. Examples: glute bridges, donkey kicks, clamshells, monster walks and side walks with a resistance band
The dynamic warm up revs up your heart rate and gets blood and oxygen working to your legs to prepare them for your run. Without doing these, you up your risk for injuries, like pulling on those tight calf muscles, that Achilles that’s already irritated, that hamstring that’s been giving you grief.
Feel free to join us for our free clinics like Injury Prevention to help learn some of these!
We can all agree that a cool down is helpful. Some static stretching, no bouncing around, can be very beneficial. You’ll want to hold all stretches for at least 30 seconds allowing your, now pliable, muscles to get the full benefit from performing each one. When your muscles are warm, they are much more receptive to a good stretch.
We suggest that you always increase mileage very slowly, meaning about 10-15% per week MAX! There is no point in speeding up your training if you end up injured. This means if you ran 15 miles last week, you should run no more than 16.5 miles this week. (10% of 15 is 1.5. Add that to your original 15, and you get to 16.5.)
Eat essential nutrients within 30 minutes of completing a run. This could be bananas, chocolate milk, peanut butter sandwiches, your favorite recovery drink or sports chews. This will help your body recover quicker and keep you from crashing after the run. Depending on the distance you are going, you may have to fuel up while running too!
Track daily, weekly, and monthly runs in a running journal (we’ve got a couple at the store!). This will allow you to watch your progression as well as pinpoint areas that you can work on. You can also do this using websites and apps like our Strava group!
Water is very important for a runner, more important than shoes! We suggest that you drink, at the very least, 60oz a day! A good rule of thumb is drinking half your weight in ounces. (Current weight = 150 lb, drink 75 ounces per day) Drink more if it is hot and humid (like Charlotte seems to be from April – October) or if you are upping your miles. If you’re running more than 45 minutes, be sure to bring some type of hydration with you. Dehydration is very serious, so be sure to drink water before you get thirsty. Be sure to also drink 16 ounces of your favorite electrolyte drink plus snack with 4:1 ratio carbs to protein.
Sometimes the best thing a runner can do for their body is an exercise that doesn’t involve running. We suggest biking, swimming, hiking, rock climbing, or yoga to name a few. You need to plan at least one day of cross training into your weekly routine in order to give those running muscles a break and work on other sets like your stabilizing muscles.
It might be time for you to check out our training groups with Run For You! We welcome all paces and all goals no matter the distance or the race. Come join us sometime!