By Matt Sidel
With the change to warmer weather, a change in running habits is necessary. It’s time to shed the heavier clothing and switch to lighter wear. The type of warm weather clothing needed is dependent on the individual, but make sure not to wear cotton as it sticks to the body and creates friction points. There are numerous clothing options ranging from the latest tech materials to wool, which will help prevent blisters and wick moisture away. While a hat will shield you from the sun, some people feel it holds heat, so that’s really up to the individual. There are some great hat options that are UV protective and vented to keep you cooler. Sunglasses are a personal preference. Tifosi glasses are lightweight, durable, and vented.
As far as shoes, winter-specific models are usually waterproof and reflective, but for hot weather, the biggest concern is getting something that matches up with your foot type and gait. Most shoes offered today are constructed of breathable mesh, so they perform great in warm conditions. There are numerous brands and models that offer durability, shock absorption, and support. Saucony is very popular right now since they’ve got a new cushioning system called Everun that people seem to love. The biggest concern though is each individual getting in the correct model for their foot. There are a lot of different styles and they’re all built for different foot types and gaits.
Now that were outfitted, let’s go for a run. Typically 90 minutes before running, you want to eat a light, carbohydrate-based meal with a bit of protein like oatmeal, toast or a bagel with peanut butter. Honey Stinger waffles provide carbohydrates and protein in the ideal ratio, and are offered in lots of different flavors. Some people like an energy gel about 45 minutes prior as well.
Every runner knows they need to stretch before taking off. The best way to go about stretching is an active stretch approach. Starting slowly helps your body naturally loosen up into whatever activity you’re doing. Walk to warm up, then roll into a slow jog, and slowly build up for about a half mile to start the run. When cooling down, it’s best to transition slowly into a few minutes of walking at the end. Static stretches or yoga are good post-run activities. While running or doing cardio work, a general rule to stay hydrated is about 20 ounces of liquid per hour. There’s a variety of other items that provide additional electrolytes. One popular option is Nuun tablets, which come in a variety of different flavors, as well as with and without caffeine. There’s also a good additive called Tailwind that not only replaces electrolytes, but carbohydrates as well.
If you’re training for a long run, the best starting method is the run/walk method, popularized by the Couch to 5K Program. You can start with segments as short as 50 meters; you simply jog 50 meters, then walk until you feel fully recovered, then jog 50 more, alternating back and forth, starting with 5 or 6 segments of that. Slowly build up the length of the running segment as your endurance grows, then slowly taper down the walking portion, until you’re running for a full 20 minutes or more.
New runners should start out with a plan and not try to do too much too soon. Staying healthy and positively motivated can be achieved when you stay consistent and don’t try to overreach when just beginning. Start with trying to gain some fitness or reach a level of comfort with cardio in general, then start to set goals from there. A favorite beginner motivation tool is to “Win the Week” — there are 7 days in a week, and if you work out the majority of the days (4) for 30 minutes or more, you’ve won. It’s an easy way to gain consistency early on, which can quickly build into more.
Another good tip for new runners is the importance of proper footwear. Being in the right shoes from the start will prevent a lot of extremely common beginner runner issues, from shin splints to runner’s knee, and well beyond. With shoes and insoles in all price ranges, a proper evaluation is important for a proper fit to get you on the right track.
Visit your nearest Second Sole location to try the products mentioned or to get fitted for a great new pair of running shoes to start the summer right. You can also check out these and other new products on their website at secondsoleohio.com.
Summer Running Tips