By Caitlin O’Brien, Fitness Specialist
Although we are homebound, one activity that is easily accessible right now is running. It requires little to no gear and allows you to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and boost your mood. To set myself up for a good run, I always bring these essentials.
SHOES: This is an obvious one. But did you know it can take the sole of a shoe 24-48 hours to recover after use?
The foam in the sole of your shoe gets compressed after a run, which can put more burden on the joints if you don’t allow the shoes to “de-compress”. I have a pair of shoes dedicated to running, so I know I have proper cushioning when I hit the road.
SUNBLOCK: The sun is intense in Colorado! Even if it’s a little cold or cloudy, the sun can make an impact on the skin. I put 40 SPF anywhere my skin is exposed.
QUICK SUGAR: There are a lot of energy gels and bars out there to help you while you’re running. My favorite snack is Trader Joe’s Apple and Carrot Fruit Crusher. I like it because It’s a little more natural but any simple sugar should do the trick.
When I’m starting to feel tired, I drink the crusher and keep fueling myself little by little throughout my run. You need fuel to have the energy to keep going.
EARBUDS: Whether it’s music, an audiobook, or a podcast, I find something that can keep me motivated during a run. There are also free apps out there that can track your distance, timing, etc.
ELECTROLYTES/WATER BOTTLE: You should be drinking water at least 30 minutes before your run to let it absorb. However, drinking water (especially with electrolytes) is necessary during a run too. We lose electrolytes when we sweat, so replenishing them while we run can keep our muscles hydrated.
HAT: Extra protection from the sun never hurt anyone. It also helps during any surprise rainfall.
If you are somewhat new to running, remember that stamina takes time to build, so take the time and don’t overdo it. Finally, remember to practice social distancing when you are out on your runs!