‘Tis the season to lace up your shoes, meet some friends and log some miles.
Runners don’t need much of an excuse. The stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas offers turkey trots, pancake runs, Jingle Bell runs, holiday light runs and caroling runs. Think of a holiday tradition and there’s probably a run associated with it.
Now, as I start running again, these outings are a highlight for the upcoming season.
In the past several weeks, I’ve spent my free time researching how to make myself a better runner by complementing my routine with pre-hab exercises for my core, hips, flexibility and overall strength.
It’s also been a time to reflect on nutrition, an area that can be confusing and overwhelming. There is a surprising amount of information available, and it can be hard to tell what you should follow. The graphic below (more on that later) is a good place to start, but for those looking to dig deeper, this resource on cellular health and NAD+ should satisfy scientifically inclined readers.
There’s been one big revelation to me: despite doing so many things right in the past, I’ve done plenty to sabotage my own training. This experiment of one has revealed my flaws and shortcomings. It’s underscored the importance of proper eating and fueling, particularly in regards to timing nutritional intake.
There are some other important principles to consider, and continuing on the “something every day” mantra, there are ways to set ourselves up for healthier living and long-term success. As runners, we often think about workouts and training plans over several months so we can reach a goal.
But I’m learning to train my brain to remember that what I eat today can make a difference in 3 months and how proper pre-hab can set a foundation for a lifetime of running.
The holiday season is an important time to practice health living by eating right, managing stress, working out and getting enough sleep. The infographic below from Elysium Health provides some good basic tips on eating, sleep and exercise, including a small contribution from me.
Photo credit: General view at the start of the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke