Summer is definitely coming and the recent increase in sunny days has people returning to their walking / hiking / running routines. Here’s a couple quick tips to help you readjust to increase activity and enjoy the full summer of Oregon’s awesomeness!
1. Start slow and build. Depending on what your winter looked like, you may not be able to jump right back into to your normal summer routine. If you’ve been active, great. If not, spend some time breaking back in. I recommend more frequency and lower volume for at least the first few weeks to get you used to the rigors of repetitive movement again. Lots of clients come in and say they “only” ran 4 miles, “I don’t know why it hurts so bad”. While that may not be a lot for your “normal” at some points, 4 miles is likely in the neighborhood of 6000 steps, at somewhere around 4-7 times your body weight each landing…get the picture?
2. Fuel and hydrate properly. Sports nutrition is a round the clock endeavor, with everything you put into your body (or don’t put in) affecting performance when it counts. Make sure you go into workouts well nourished and hydrated, plan for the duration of the event with extra calories and fluids as needed and refuel afterwards. As a general rule, carbs go in first, carbs and proteins go in to recover and you likely want 12-14 ounces of fluids and 100-200 calories for every hour of activity after 60-minutes. Those numbers change with the person, the temperature, etc but good to have a simple jumping off point.
3. Pick routes that bring you joy. If walking in the neighborhood is going to get boring and lead to burn out, take advantage of the parks and trails in and around town. I start every Sunday morning in a different location along wildwood trail and run different patterns on the trails all the time. It may be 2 months before I repeat any particular route. Varying routes also leads to different stimulus on your body and can help prevent some overuse injuries.
4. Value the time you spend outside and hold it sacred. This may be the only time in your week that things are quiet, unstructured. If that’s the case, try your best to appreciate that and remove headphones, don’t invite friends, be selfish and tuned in. Listen to how the seasons change with birds returning, watch the changing of the trees and shadows, and generally be engaged with your environment. This can also keep you safe by being aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t schedule over your time if at all possible! This also helps keep consistency.
5. Be visible. Running on the streets, especially in poor light can pose some dangers so do everything you can to make yourself visible to bikes and cars. Reflective vests, headlamps, blinking lights, etc can all help others see you and keep you safe. Approach running the same way you would riding a bike at night or in low light situations. Even in the afternoon, I always try to wear a bright colored shirt to stand out and stay safe.
6. Cross Train! We discussed earlier the high demands of running and one of the best ways to stay running for a long time is to cross train. It may be doing cardio other than running, especially low impact like cycling and swimming, or it may be strength work at home or the gym. Best case is to get some of both. We like to look at strength programs for runners that both improve performance, enhance proper gait mechanics and reduce the likelihood of injury by integrating movement patterns that both mimic the demands of running to help improve performance and run contrary to those demands to incorporate more of the stabilizing and support systems to help stave off overuse injuries.
Jeremy’s personal training philosophy
It’s important to start with the basics and move from there. Too often, people get into complicated movements and goals before they have the proper fundamentals, which can lead to negative results.
My number one job is to get my clients stronger for the things they want and need to do.
Hyatt Training is a collective of certified, enthusiastic and innovative independent personal trainers in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about our personal trainers or to set up a free consultation to see how they could help you, email us at Go@HyattTraining.com.