With the Nike Women's Marathon and New York City Marathon fast approaching, there's been a lot of talk about how to tackle long-distance runs and how to recover from an endurance run once it's over. All great advice, but for many of us, a 30- to 40-minute run is all we want to handle. For all you short-distance runners out there, here's a list of things to never do during your workout.
- Skip the warmup: Even though you're not running for very long, you still need to warm up your cold muscles. Walk briskly, do some jumping jacks, or run up and down your stairs for five minutes to get your blood flowing and to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout ahead. Skip the warmup and you might as well sign yourself up for a pulled muscle.
- Carbo load: Depending on how much you weigh and how fast you're moving, a half-hour run burns 300 calories, more or less. Compare that to someone burning 1,200 on a two-hour run and you'll see that it's not necessary to carbo load beforehand with a huge spaghetti lunch. Follow these tips for choosing an appropriate pre-workout snack, don't eat a thing during your workout, and when you're run is complete, nosh on one of these low-cal post-workout snacks.
Keep reading to find out more short-distance running mistakes to avoid.
- Guzzle water: While it's a definite must to hydrate properly before lacing up your sneaks, your 30-minute workout doesn't require major hydration while running. Carrying around a water bottle or hydration pack not only adds unnecessary weight, but drinking too much water can cause cramps during your run. If it's insanely hot on your run, bring a small bottle of water and sip a couple ounces as needed, but if the weather is mild, save the water until after your run.
- Wear wrist or ankle weights: If you're trying to get the most out of a short-distance run, don't do it by strapping on ankle weights or carrying dumbbells. This places tremendous strain on your joints, putting you at risk for a severe injury. To get more out of your 30-minute workout, wearing a weighted vest is a much safer way to add resistance, or if it's a toned lower body you're after, incorporate hill work and speed intervals. Here is a 40-minute hill workout to do the next time you hit the trail.