Runners—whether newbies taking up the sport for the first time or veterans who have been around the block for some time—must do whatever they can to keep running consistent and enjoyable over the long term.
Would you like to learn how to do so yourself?
Then you have come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll share a few simple strategies to help you make running less painful, so you can make the most out of your runs without minimum hassle.
Let’s lace up and dig in.
Develop proper form
Even if you’re not in it for competition, running technique matters and matters a lot. Proper form helps you run longer, faster, and train harder with the least injury risk.
Develop proper running technique by doing the following:
- Run tall while keeping your back flat, head up, and feet landing under your body’s center of gravity the entire time.
- Keep your body relaxed by unclenching your jaw and fists, loosening up your facial muscles, and releasing any built-up tension.
- Increase your cadence by aiming for 170 to 180 strikes per minute (or more for speedwork and racing)
Perfect dress for perfect occassion. Unless you’re looking for trouble, you shouldn’t run in your suit or in jeans.
To make your runs less painful, choose running-specific clothing made of technical materials. This is vital because it can help you pull moisture away from your skin, helping you stay warm and prevent bad cases of blisters and chaffing.
What you should avoid is cotton as it tends to soak up moisture, and once it’s wet, it tends to stay wet.
Dress for weather that’s actually 20 degrees hotter than it’s outside. That’s what’s known as the “20 degrees rule,” and it’s key to avoiding over bulking while running.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to invest in any expensive clothing or high-caliber brand to stay comfortable while running, but you want the right clothing for the job.
Get The Right Shoes
Improper training shoes are one of the leading causes of running pain and injury.
Head to the nearest running store and have your gait and foot type analyzed by the experts there to determined which pair fits you the best.
The average lifespan of a running shoe is somewhere between 400 to 600 miles—depending on your stride, the terrains you run, etc. For most people, that amounts to 5 to 6 months of regular running.
Additionally, choose the right socks. They must be made of wicking fabrics that help keep your footsies dry and warm.
Again, keep in mind that you don’t need to invest a fortune here. $60 to $90 is enough to buy you a good pair that‘s going to last you for quite some time. Unless you are a shoe model, you won’t need the latest trend. Again, comfort comes first.
Warm Up Right
Whether you’re going for a short run around the block or a long trail run, a proper warm-up is key for safe and comfortable training. Skipping it is nothing but flirting with disaster—and you don’t want that
Here’s how to do it right.
Begin your session with 5 to 10 minutes of slow jogging to increase your heart rate and fire up your muscles.
Instead of static stretching, do body looseness like knee circles, ankle rolls, and hip rotation to get your body loose without putting too much strain on your cold muscles and joints.
Here is the dynamic warm-up you need.
Keep your Tanks Humming
Proper fuel is another important element of comfortable and efficient training. How much and what kind of food need will depend on your running schedule, duration, and intensity.
Take the following measures:
- Wait for 2 to 3 hours following a big meal before you go running. This will help give your digestive enough time to do its thing so you could have the energy you need for the workout without causing any GI distress issues.
- Running on empty is not a problem for short and easy runs.
- Choose the right pre-run snacks. Opt for something your digestive system can easily handle, such as a banana, a handful of dried fruit, or a smoothie.
If you have been suffering from muscle cramps, headaches, and fatigue while running, dehydration might be the culprit.
Proper hydration helps move toxins from the body, regulates body temperate, reduces inflammation caused by damaged cells.
As a general guideline, drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day.
For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, shoot for at least 90 ounces of water a day. That might seem like a lot. Of course, you don’t have to take it all at once. But with practice, you’ll make it into a habit.
For longer runs, have water with you or plan a route around convenience stores or places where you know you can find water.
You can run with a handheld water bottle (or while using a hydration belt), but you can also plan your running route where you know you will find water, such as convenience stores or fountains.
Listen to Your Body
It’s really up to you in the end. You call the shots on what works the best for you.
But to do that, listen to your body and adjust your approach accordingly. No one is going to do that for you other than you.
Your body is constantly sending signals trying to tell you how it’s doing; you just need to be willing to listen and take its feedback into account and practice it right.
If you continue with running—especially if you do any form of intense intervals, such as hill reps or sprints—while experiencing acute overtraining symptoms, then you’re actually increasing injury risk or exacerbating an existing one.
There you have it! If you want to make running less difficult—and more bearable—then today’s post should get you started on the right path. The rest is just details.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong.