21 Running Tips


Looking for some tips to help with your run? Our Optimum Stride therapists are full of information on improving your run while avoiding injury. Below are the 21 tips they think are most helpful for runners:

  1. When shopping for running shoes, have an associate look at your feet and how you walk to help you determine what kind of shoe is right for you. They will determine if your arch is high, low, or regular and whether your feet pronate in, supinate out, or land neutrally when you walk. Our team has regular screenings at some area events, so check out our events calendar to find the next screening: https://www.neorthohospital.com/our-services/physical-therapy/optimum-stride.
  2. Many running clothes have built-in underwear, but if your apparel does not, invest in tight-fitting, non-cotton underwear to wick away any moisture and avoid chafing.
  3. Focusing on your form can help make for more efficient runs and avoid injuries. Keep your head up, shoulders low and loose with your arms swinging forwards and backwards. Run tall and keep your hips pointing straight ahead. When running with proper stride length, your feet should land directly underneath your body. Your feet should lightly touch the ground.
  4. If you run in the morning, try to grab a quick meal like half of a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of oatmeal before your run. This will convert to fuel in 45 minutes leading to an effective run. If you can’t tolerate food before a run, try to eat a carb-heavy bedtime snack the night before.
  5. While you’re in running training, be careful about adding too many additional activities such as spin classes or boot camps. To be a successful runner, you have to run.
  6. When seeking out food sources, focus on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Good sources of carbs include whole grain breads, brown rice, whole grain pastas, etc. Aim for the 3-5 servings of veggies a day along with 2-4 servings of fruit.
  7. When it comes to water, shoot to drink half of your body weight in ounces.
  8. Trouble finding time to fit running into your schedule? Schedule it in, literally, and treat it as if it’s an appointment. Once you have it scheduled in, you can relax.
  9. It’s normal to feel shin pain once you get into a running routine. Icing your shins several times a day can help to relieve the pain. Anti-inflammatories, stretching, and strengthening will help too.
  10. While running, be aware of signs that you may be experiencing an injury versus discomfort. When the pain seems to be coming from your overall muscle, for example, your quads, hamstrings, etc., this could be a sign of an injury. If the pain starts to impact your running form or persists despite decreased training, consider getting medical treatment.
  11. Stretching is always an important factor in avoiding injury. Take a few minutes after your run to stretch out your warm muscles. Hold each stretch between 20 to 60 seconds.
  12. When washing your running clothes, use a detergent that’s designed for athletic clothes to help maintain their breathability. Most sport detergents are now sold close to the regular detergent in stores.
  13. During exercise the American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 4 to 8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes of hard running.
  14. After a long run, it’s crucial to replenish your body with protein and carbs to help your muscles rebuild. Some ideas of what to eat and drink include a turkey sandwich, chocolate milk, yogurt and fruit, and so on.
  15. Pacing, or running at a uniform speed for the entire distance of your run, is crucial in expending your energy throughout the course of your run.
  16. When shopping for winter running attire, it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on gear. Your base layer is the most important and should be made of a synthetic moisture wicking material. Your second layer is your insulation layer. Something like a fleece running top will help keep in the warm air. Your last layer should be a wind proof jacket or vest. It’s also important to wear fleece lined pants, a hat, and gloves.
  17. Eat well, but don’t overeat. Make sure to get plenty of sleep.
  18. Take a day off when you need to, but try to stick to your running schedule as much as possible.
  19. Jot down what you did or didn’t do after your run to help figure out what contributed to your performance.
  20. If you feel like you are suffering from heavy leg syndrome, make sure you are eating enough carbs, drinking enough water, and getting enough rest between training sessions.
  21. Stay positive and believe in yourself that you can reach your running goals.

To learn more about our Optimum Stride team, or to schedule a running evaluation, visit https://www.neorthohospital.com/our-services/physical-therapy/optimum-stride.

21 Running Tips

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