Winter, BYE! For some of us, cold weather is exiting stage right and runners are rejoicing everywhere. Time to lace up those shoes for outdoor runs instead of being confined to the treadmill at the stuffy local gym…or skipping runs altogether. For many runners, getting back outside to run will be a welcome change of pace, but UNFNSHD has a list of tips for our runners to get after it this spring.
For those runners who haven’t been out since the fall (girl, same), it is important that you take the time to build back up to where you left off. If you ramp up your workout too quickly, you are more likely to develop an injury, which could prevent future runs for months.
Start with a shorter distance than you would’ve been running at the end of fall. You may even want to get out there and just see what feels good before worrying about the distance you want to run. When it comes to increasing mileage, you should increase your distance by no more than ten percent each week. However, if you are prone to injury or recovering from a previous injury, it is a good idea to stay around five percent each week.
Check Out Your Running Gear
Need an excuse to buy more shoes? Running clothes—especially shoes—tend to wear out quickly. Old or worn out shoes will need to be replaced to prevent injuries. Shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, so if you can’t remember the last time you replaced your shoes, it is probably time. To know when you should replace your running shoes, you can keep a running log that tracks when you purchase a new pair of shoes and how much your run during each week. This will help you know exactly when to replace worn-out shoes.
For all our techies out there, if you use a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or step counter to track your runs, make sure that they are in working order and have freshly charged or replaced batteries in time for your first run of the spring. Because if you can’t track it did it even happen?
Get Prepared for the Weather
Your clothing may also need an update. It’s that time of year where you need gloves and parka in the morning and tank and shorts in the afternoon. Since spring is a time of volatile weather, you will want to have clothing for all kinds of temperatures. Queue those transitional pieces! Make sure your closet or dresser are stocked with shorts and tank tops for those extra warm spring days, as well as long pants, jackets, gloves, and a warm cap or ear muffs for those cold days or early morning runs. You may also want to have items that you can layer for those days where a jacket is too warm, but a t-shirt just isn’t quite enough to keep you from getting cold.
Rain is common in many areas of the United States during the spring months. A water-resistant jacket is a practical addition to any runner’s spring wardrobe.
Refresh your wardrobe with apparel from UNFNSHD. UNFNSHD’s pants, shorts, shirts, and jackets make great options for running during any season. The Chicago Track Jacket from UNFNSHD is perfect for spring running, because it is lightweight, but soft and warm. The jacket comes in three colors, five sizes, and unlimited compliments.
Create New #Goals
Each new running season should come with a new set of goals that you wish to accomplish. Setting these goals will keep you motivated. Goals like running new routes, becoming the next Shalane Flanagan or being able to outrun your boyfriend. Whatever it is, the world is your oyster. Regardless of your fitness level, goals give you something to work toward.
New runners, consider setting a goal of being able to run for 20 minutes without stopping or reaching a pace of five miles per hour. Weight loss is a common goal for new runners, too, but don’t forget to set goals that challenge you to become stronger as well.
Experienced runners may have goals that include running notoriously difficult trails in their area or finishing a marathon.
All goals should be challenging, but reachable. Don’t set goals that you won’t be able to make, or you are likely to end up frustrated and just throw in the towel altogether. When you set goals that are too easy, it means that you aren’t being motivated to keep working hard toward something. This could lead to you becoming bored with running.
Stay on Top of Allergies
Allergies are the WORST this time of year, but don’t let them stop you in your quest for greatness. Seasonal allergies affect millions of people, and runners should be prepared to deal with these pesky allergies. The sneezing and itching that are often associated with allergies can quickly sideline a runner, so you may want to consider consulting with a doctor about your allergies. If necessary, spend the spring running indoors to prevent allergy flare-ups.
It is possible that your doctor will prescribe an allergy medication that will help you run outside without the sneezing, watery eyes, and itchiness that allergies cause.
Don’t Forget Water
You know what they say, drink half your weight in oz of water a day blah blah...but really—DO IT. It is easy to forget to drink water when it isn’t really hot outside. Dehydration can kill spring running outings in a few minutes. Be sure that you drink plenty of H2O before you leave for your run and during the run. After your run, you will also want to replenish the fluids you have lost.
If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy during your run, take a break and drink some water. If you happen to have an electrolyte drink or chew on hand, these can also help the lightheadedness subside so that you can get back to your run. However, if you don’t start to feel better after a few minutes, you may need to visit a doctor.
Bonus Tip: Make Running Fun!
For some, spring running isn’t always the most exciting part of the day. Fortunately, there are many ways to jazz up your runs.
You can’t put a price on a fab workout playlist. You can listen to music that really gets you pumped up. Create a playlist of songs that are fun, fast, and motivating for you. If you don’t have time to channel your inner DJ, Spotify and Apple Music have some great workout playlists. Spice up your runs with new routes. Challenge yourself to find unique places to run in your area or take a trip to a place that you have always want to run. Be safe and aware of your surroundings. Check out our blog on running safety for more tips.
Running in intervals can also be a fun way to keep yourself from feeling stagnant during your run. All you have to do is run your normal pace for a distance and then run at a brisker pace for a distance and repeat. You may also want to add in hills or other little challenges to your routes.
On your mark, get set, go get your run on, girl!