Preparing for a long run

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In order to make the most out of your run and maintain healthy joints and muscles in the process, it’s important that you plan for these long-distance excursions. A few simple stretches may suffice for your average run, but if you plan on covering a lot of distance on foot, it’s crucial to prepare your body. Here are a few ways to get yourself ready for a long run:

Be fully rested

Getting enough sleep prior to a long-distance run is necessary for giving your body the energy it needs to cover that ground. Keep a consistent bedtime and wakeup time to get yourself on a regular schedule.

Preventative massage

Prepare your muscles and joints for a run with preventative massage. When you run, you’re repetitively using the same muscles, so it’s crucial that those muscles stay relaxed, allowing you to run further, faster and more comfortably. Without massage, joints and muscles can feel short and tightened, negatively affecting your range of motion.

Fuel correctly

What you put into your body before a run can have a large impact on the success of your workout. You’ll want to avoid ingesting fat and fiber, as both increase your chances for stomach issues like cramps along the way. Instead, consume protein and carbohydrates, such as a whole wheat bagel and peanut butter. The combination of protein and carbs can help maximize your run. Carbs are your body’s main fuel source, while protein aids in muscle repair and maintenance.

Check the weather

If you plan to run outside for a long period of time, check the weather before heading out. You don’t want to run into a big rainstorm without knowing it. Plus, figuring out how cold or hot it is outside can help determine what you should wear to stay comfortable for the duration of your run. Be sure not to overdress, as this can increase your chances for dehydration.

Stay hydrated

While staying hydrated during a run is important, it’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water before you leave for your run as well. The University of California San Francisco Medical Center recommends keeping your body hydrated at least 48 hours before the start of your run. If you drink plenty of water before exercising, your sweat loss will be lessened.

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