It’s pretty much safe to say that after the unkind winter most people in the U.S. have endured this year, spring will be very much welcomed with open arms. This is probably especially true if you’re a runner.
If the harsh cold and endless amounts of snowfall kept you from running outdoors for most of the season, then we bet you’re especially looking forward to running with the company of a light, cool breeze and bright, warm rays of sun.
But before your take your workouts back to the track, out on the trails, or even just out and about through the streets of your neighborhood, attacking the transition with a smart approach and some helpful drills can help to improve your technique and performance.
To help make this spring your best season of running yet, Dr. Tremaine Young, a licensed chiropractor and the creator of the Tension Fit Trainer, shares his best tips for properly making the transition back to outdoor running.
-Spring Running Tips for Improved Performance and Technique-
1. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!
Outdoor running possesses many elements that cause us to increase our sweating therefore we are losing that critical hydration that the body needs. Increase your water intake prior to your runs, while reducing the level of sodium/sugar intake to elevate hydration inside of the cell.
2. Don’t forget dynamic stretches.
Stretch outside before every run to get the body acclimated to the climate, and warmed up properly to make certain adequate blood flow is ready to feed your muscles.
3. Running drills are crucial.
Do high knees, butt kicks, walking lunges, and fast feet for 50 meters down and back.
4. Start on softer surfaces.
Start your training on surfaces that cause less impact on your body and joints. Find a local grass field and do 60- to 100-meter pick-ups. Stride down and back five to 10 times at a safe, comfortable pace.
5. Include grass training.
Pick two days out of the week to do grass hill training. High knees, backward runs, duck walks, butt kicks, lunge walk, etc. will improve your running.
6. Don’t skip cross training.
Stability ball running drills will improve your core, balance, and strength.
- Place a stability ball on the ground and do mountain climbers and scissor runs (three times each for 40 to 60 seconds).
- Place the stability ball against the wall and your stomach, and drive forward with your arms pumping and knees driving to ball level (three times for 40 to 60 seconds).
- Place the stability ball above your head in your hands while pressing the ball against the wall. Drive your high knees to their maximum height to further educate your body to run completely from your core strength (three for 40 to 60 seconds).
7. The best kept secret.
If you are lucky to have access to a pool, take advantage of pool running. Pool running can be done in a down and back fashion, or simply running in place in the deep. Pool running provides the best recovery for your joints because being in water eliminates impact by offsetting the properties of gravity that constantly affects the body.