Pre and Post-Run Laws (written for UK Athletics 10/08).
Many runners fall into the trap of thinking that running is simply about putting one foot in front of the other with no regard to the shape of the rest of your day but no; it’s far more complex if you want to stay healthy, injury-free and improve, writes runbritain.com editor NICOLA BAMFORD.
Below is a list of essential notes each runner should take into account in order to make the most of their athletic potential...
Pre–Run tick list
Eat no later than up 2-2.5hrs before exercise – have a carbohydrate-rich meal which also includes protein and a little fat. Eating up to 2-2.5hrs before running, will ensure the food digests and doesn’t cause any discomfort when training.
Drink up to an hour before exercise – depending on the temperature, normally runners should drink still drinks up to an hour before running. If it’s hot and humid however, then sip water until 30minutes before training.
Rest - if your daily schedule allows. If not, try to stretch the legs out regularly by taking short walks.
Visit the toilet just before – if you’ve been drinking enough to stay well-hydrated, you should be going regularly and you’ll want to ensure you’re not ‘caught out’ during your run/session.
Allow at least 4hrs in between runs/sessions if train twice per day – this will ensure your muscles - as well as the respiratory and cardiovascular systems - are recovered enough from the first bout of exercise during the day and will increase your body’s chance of performing well in the afternoon/evening.
Post – Run tick list
Warm-down – to ensure you’ll steer clear of injuries and stiffness, do a thorough cool-down after each session; at least a 10minute jog or walk.
Stretch – don’t let injuries creep up on you, by investing at least 10minutes after each run/session on stretching all the major muscle groups.
Eat – a carbohydrate-rich meal which also includes protein, a little fat and plenty of iron to help replenish the muscles and re-fuel your body.
Shower/ice-bath – keep clean and refreshed and even take a 20minute ice-bath to aid sore muscles straight after a run/session – but ensure you hop in a hot shower straight afterwards.
Rest – speaks for itself; ensure you wind-down after your runs/sessions with a relaxing evening and try to get at least 8hrs’ sleep each evening.