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August 15, 2017

How to Step up Your Effort

Written by Jennifer Van Allen


stepsrunnerWhen you’re pushing your body farther and faster than it’s gone before, details matter. Neglect the seemingly small things—nutrition, recovery, and sleep—and you could set yourself up for a setback. As you prepare for the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, here are some tips to help you stay healthy, get fit, and ready to run your best when the starting gun fires.

Sleep. Sleep deprivation can impact performance and raise your risk of injury. Studies have shown that sleep provides a critical opportunity to recover and heal from tough workouts, and get stronger. It’s the time when the body repairs strained tissue and regenerates bone and muscle so you get stronger. Plus it helps stave off weight gain. Sleep deprivation signals the body to produce more ghrelin—the hunger hormone—and less leptin—which signals that we’re full.

Warm up, cool down, and stretch. Take time before your workouts to do a dynamic warmup routine—watch videos of the moves Movecoach recommends here—to increase running efficiency and range of motion, and decrease risk of injury. These moves will help make you stronger, and prepare your muscles, bones, and joints to push on the final stretch to the finish line.

Hydrate. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration has been shown to make even easy runs feel difficult, and and impair your ability to run at an even pace. Sip small amounts of water throughout each day so that you start each workout well hydrated. Be sure to rehydrate after tough workouts to help aid recovery. When it’s hot outside, or if you’re a particularly salty sweater, reach for low-calorie sports drinks to help replenish your carbs and electrolytes. How do you know if you’re well hydrated? Do the bathroom test. If your urine is pale yellow, then you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker – say the color of apple juice – drink more. If it’s clear, back off. Use thirst as your guide; experts have established that thirst will guide you to water when you need it.

Listen to your body.  Training for a race should help push you out of your comfort zone, but it shouldn’t feel like torture. Some muscle soreness and achiness is normal after pushing yourself farther or faster than you’ve gone before. Rest and cross-train with non-impact activities when you need to. It is far better to take one day off of training to give your body a chance to recover, than to run through pain and turn a minor irritation into a full-blown injury that sidelines you for weeks. If you have pain that persists or worsens as you run, see a medical professional for an evaluation.

We’re looking forward to taking the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge SFO with you on September 7. You can see more training tips here. And be sure to look for us on race day.  Click here to get to know the Movecoach Team!

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