If you’re a beginner runner who has been running consistently for a few months, you’ve probably seen your fitness level, speed and endurance improve as your body experiences the benefits of running.
Ready to turn things up a notch? Add these healthy habits to your routine to become a faster and stronger runner.
Do Some Strength Training
I know what you’re thinking. I’m already running a couple times of week and I have to lift weights too? Strength training is just as important as putting in the miles. Healthy runners are strong runners. Fitting in a session just once or twice a week will improve your performance and help prevent injuries.
Add power to your runs by strengthening your lower body with squats and lunges. Watch your form improve as you increase your upper back and hip stability with dumbbell rows. And make sure to work your core with planks and twists. Having stronger abdominal muscles will help stabilize your body during your runs, making you less injury-prone.
Take a Rest Day
The more you run, the better you’ll be at running, right? Not necessarily. Piling on the miles just for the sake of running more won’t actually make you a stronger runner. Taking a day or two off lets your muscles recover and rebuild, allowing you to return to your next run feeling faster and stronger.
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Drink More Water
Proper hydration is crucial to your overall running performance. Make sure you drink plenty of water and carry liquids with you on runs lasting more than an hour or during hot weather. You can sneak in extra hydration by eating more fruits and vegetables, too.
Eat Healthy Foods
Fuel your runs with nutritious whole foods that are high in protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. According to many studies supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, some of the best foods for athletes include yogurt, blueberries, whole wheat breads, grilled fish, chicken and quinoa. Check out our getting started with healthy eating guide for tips and recipe ideas.
Stretch and Massage
Another easy healthy habit that can boost your running performance is regular stretching. Use a foam roller for a few minutes after every run, take some time to stretch out your legs in the shower or sign up for a weekly yoga class. By stretching and massaging tight muscles, you can help relax your body, reduce your risk of injury and prepare yourself to become a stronger, faster runner.
Are you a new runner? What tips do you have others? Share by commenting below!
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.