New to Running? Things to Prepare Before and After

New to Running? Things to Prepare Before and After

If you want to start running, here are some essential things that you need to prepare beforehand.

Before Running

You’ll need the following items before you start running:

1. Proper running shoes

Get a good pair of running shoes that fit you properly and offer adequate support and cushioning. Here are some tips:

  • Determine your foot type: There are three main foot types: flat feet, neutral feet, and high arches. You can do a simple wet foot test to determine your foot type. Wet your foot and step on a piece of paper or a dark surface. If you see a complete footprint, you likely have flat feet. If you see a footprint with a slight curve inward, you likely have neutral feet. If you see a footprint with a thin line connecting the heel and ball of the foot, you likely have high arches.
  • Choose the right shoe type: There are three main shoe types: motion control, stability, and neutral/cushioned. Motion control shoes are designed for flat feet and provide maximum support and stability. Stability shoes are designed for neutral feet and provide moderate support and cushioning. Neutral/cushioned shoes are designed for high arches and provide maximum cushioning.
  • Get fitted: A professional will measure your foot, analyze your gait, and recommend shoes based on your foot type, gait, and running style.
  • Try on multiple pairs: Try on multiple pairs of shoes and walk around the store to see how they feel. Make sure they are comfortable and fit snugly without feeling too tight. Try them on with the socks you plan to wear while running.

2. Comfortable clothing

Wear clothes that are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable, such as shorts, t-shirts, and leggings. Go for moisture-wicking fabrics that draw sweat away from your skin and help keep you dry and comfortable. Avoid cotton, as it absorbs sweat and can leave you feeling wet and uncomfortable.

4. Water bottle

Stay hydrated during your run by carrying a water bottle with you.

5. Running watch or app

Use a running watch or a running app to track your distance, pace, and time.

6. Sunscreen

Protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun by applying sunscreen before heading out.

7. Snacks

Bring a small snack with you, such as an energy bar or a piece of fruit, to keep your energy levels up during long runs.

8. ID and phone

Carry your ID and phone with you in case of emergencies.

9. Warm-up routine

Do a warm-up routine to prepare your muscles for running and reduce the risk of injury.

  • Begin with 5-10 minutes of low-intensity cardio exercise, such as jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, or cycling at a moderate pace. This will help to increase your heart rate and warm up your muscles.
  • Next, perform some dynamic stretches that target the major muscle groups in your body. Examples include leg swings, arm circles, walking lunges, and high knees. These stretches should be gentle and controlled, and should not be held for too long.
  • After dynamic stretches, perform some mobility exercises to improve your range of motion. Examples include hip circles, shoulder rolls, and ankle rotations.

After Your Run

After your run, stretch your muscles to help prevent soreness and improve flexibility. Gyms like Planet Fitness have stretching areas specifically for this purpose.

  • Quad stretch – Stand with both feet shoulder-distance apart, and grab your right foot with your right hand. Bring your heel towards your glutes, and hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Hamstring stretch – Sit on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Reach forward and try to touch your toes, holding for 15-30 seconds.
  • Calf stretch – Stand straight and place your hands on the wall at shoulder level. Step your left foot back, keeping your heel on the ground. Lean forward into the wall to stretch your calf muscles, holding for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Hip flexor stretch – Kneel using your left knee, with your right foot planted on the ground in front of you. Lean forward to stretch your hip flexor, holding for as long as 30 seconds. Repeat with your right knee.
  • IT band stretch – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and cross your right foot over your left. Lean to the right, stretching your left IT band. Hold for about 20 – 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Glute stretch – Lie on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee, and pull your left knee towards your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

Post-running nutrition

After running, it’s important to replenish your body with the right nutrients to help with recovery and support muscle growth. Here are some suggestions for a post-running drink and meal:

  • Post-Running Drink – Water is important in order to replace the fluids you lost while running, so start by drinking plenty of water to rehydrate. You can also consider drinking a sports drink to replace lost electrolytes.
  • Post-Running Meal – Aim for a meal that includes a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Learn more pre and post workout meals here:

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