3 Tips for Healthy Running

1. Dress for the weather.  The weather in Toronto has been abnormal to say the least making spring weather even more unpredictable.  To avoid discomfort while out it is best to prepare for any for multiple weather scenarios.   In the morning while the temperature is a little cooler, make sure you have gear on such as long pants, gloves, or a wool cap, as well as clothes for warm weather, like shorts and a T-shirt. Also make sure you have a good water-resistant jacket on hand in case you get caught in the rain.

2. Take it slow then ramp up your speed.  Feeling invigorated by the nice weather?  It is easy to want to pick up training where you left off last fall, but you must be very careful about ramping up the miles too quickly.  You could expose yourself to injury by starting off at pre-winter speeds/duration – remember, your body is still in winter/indoor training mode and it’ll take some time before you adapt.

The general rule about increasing distance is that you should increase by no more than 10-percent each week. For example, if you run 5 kms during your first week back, run no more than 5.5 kms the following week. If you are injury-prone or are currently recovering from an injury, you should stick to a 5-percent increase week-over-week. This may be tedious and hard to do, but it will help keep injury-free.

3. Set a goal. Whether you’ve been running for years or are brand new to running, you should set goals and track your progress. Working toward a goal allows you to feel like you are accomplishing something and gives you a purpose for getting staying on your running schedule. Whatever your goal is (i.e. time, distance), it should be challenging, yet achievable. If you are brand new to running, maybe your goal is to run a half-marathon or be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping. Perhaps you want to get faster, stronger, or lose weight. Whatever your goal, set a realistic timeline to meet it and celebrate in a healthy way when you accomplish it. Treat yourself to some new running music, or buy yourself a new pair of running shorts.

Enjoy the run!