Match these recommendations up to your current philosophy and see if they are helpful in making your next work-out more effective.
1. Have a plan and revisit it before each work-out: There is nothing more demotivating than not knowing what to do, or why you are doing it. If you have no plan, get one, write it down and give it a name that reminds you of your ultimate goal. At the top of the page write in bold letters My Sub 2o Minute 5k seeing this everyday will work miracles on your psyche, help you revisit your original commitment, and give you tons of added motivation. Also, knowing what you’re expected to accomplish during this work-out will help you confirm that you have successfully met your goal for the days activity before it is over.
2. Create a warm-up ritual: Notice, I didn’t say stretch. A warm-up is a far more effective way to start your work-out. You can not prepare your body for movement while in the static position. A warm-up does not need to be a long drawn out process, but it does need to be consistent and effective. Whatever movement pattern you choose, do it the same each time. Consistency will eliminate the “what do I do next” pause, and will let you actually warm-up, instead of just performing a series of movement patterns that are divided by short cool downs. Make sure your habit includes something to warm up your arms and shoulders. Arms and shoulders are often neglected during the warm-up process, and running form suffers needlessly because of that neglect.
3. Have a great playlist: The best work-out gear invented in the past 20 years is the Ipod. You can not deny that if you’re working out, and doing it right, it hurts, any distraction from that hurt is worth it’s weight. In years past we carried Walkmans, tape decks, radios, and even boom boxes 🙂 but the heavy, bulky devices were often more distracting than the provided music. We now have Ieverything’s on which we can create, or purchase, a motivating playlist, use it and see what a difference it makes. One of my self saved playlists I Hate This Part, includes the tunes: Welcome to the Suck / Thomas Newman, Dirty Epic / Underworld, Innocente / Delerium, and Harder to Breathe / Maroon 5. A word of caution while running with music, run facing traffic, if you can not hear them, or see them, you are in double jeopardy.
4. Have a benchmark and use your watch: A bench mark doesn’t need to be a formal in writing achievement, it can be something as unassuming as a tree along a running route that you pass every day, a lane that you know is a kilometer from home, whatever. By using your watch you can judge your perceived effort, and that spot on benchmark is going to let you judge just how you’re feeling today, and you can make effort adjustments accordingly. Most will start and stop their watch at the beginning and end of their run never realizing what a great tool they’re ignoring while running.
5. Choose the right post run supplements: Runners have particular nutritional needs that are often times not met through a typical diet. If you do not know what those needs are you should make some effort to find out, and adjust your daily intake accordingly. Every different part of the world creates it’s own unique demand, and recognizing yours is essential to top performance. It would be assuming for me to preach a nutritional plan, I have no idea who you are, or what your daily food intake includes or excludes. I live at 6000′ elevation, in a mountainous cool region of the world, the earth is covered by snow for a good 4-5 months of the year. I am certain that the nutritional needs of someone, who is my same size and weight, who is running flat terrain, in 90 degree temps, are far different than my own. I will however, share some products I use, so that you may research their properties and see if they are appropriate for you. Pacific Health’s Endurox R4 is my favorite post work-out drink. I like its protein to carbohydrate balance and taste. I also use Intense Defense by Wicked Fast Sport Nutrition daily, and Recover Ease after a work-out by the same company, Recover Ease contains L-glutamine, L-leucine, L-valline, L- Isoleucine in proper levels. I run at altitude so I like to keep my iron levels in check, an occasional iron supplement does the trick. I also use Power Bar gel packs while running and Power Bar vanilla yogurt protein bars after work-outs, I like the way they taste.