Workout Wednesday: Outdoor Running Tips

I have been pushing myself to do more outdoor running this year. I started outdoor running in 2013 and I have to say I am trying to commit to it once a week as spring kicks in. If you are considering outdoor running as your first step to fitness, here are some tips I found on the Internet:

#1: Pick the Road More Travelled

When starting out, the last thing you want to worry about is getting lost. Before even lacing up your sneakers, do some research: ask friends where they like to run, use online running forums to find popular routes, and check to see if your park has designated trails. The more popular and visible the trail, the better. Popular routes tend to have clearly defined pathways, they are often well-lit, and there’s safety in numbers by choosing a trail that’s frequented by fellow runners. If you’re feeling nervous, then opt to walk the route first, or ask a friend to go running with you. Otherwise another really good option is to run around the neighbourhood, this is what I do all the time.

#2: Start Slow (and Soft)

Aside from having to deal with what nature throws at you, running without the momentum of a treadmill is also more taxing on the body. The muscles have to work harder to push the body forward, and the joints take more of a beating from running on uneven (and harder) terrain. When you first begin running outdoors, don’t expect — or even challenge yourself — to run as fast or as long as you do on a treadmill. Give your body time to adjust by gradually replacing treadmill runs with some that are outdoors, and keep your first handful of runs on the shorter side. You can pick up the pace and add mileage as your body acclimates. To make the transition easier on your joints and avoid injury, start by running on softer surfaces like grass, a track, or a wooded trail.

#3: Mix Technology with Workout

These days technology has revolutionised the way we exercise and live. You can get yourself a fitbit watch to help you track how many steps you have walked or run during the session. It can also be a motivation when you are running. I always check my fitbit watch every 5-10 minutes. Looking at how many steps you have accomplished can be a driving force for you to keep pushing yourself further. Workout is not complete without iPod. I have my iPod nano, iPod touch or iPhone 5c with me whenever I go running. Music is a good distraction and some loud music really does help you to push through some hurdles and push you further.

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