Spring brings the beauty of new beginnings, warmer days and shorter nights, blossoming trees and wildlife emerging from hibernation. But are you ready to get in shape this spring while breathing clean air? We’ve prepared some tips to get you toned up in no time and start running outdoors.
On the right track
The days have grown older and the pavements are filling up with marathon-preppers, road runners and trail runners. Whether you’ve always dreamt about crossing the finish line at a marathon or quite fancy summiting the National Three Peaks Challenge, we’ve compiled a selection of the latest tricks to help you get started. The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of England, Scotland and Wales: Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon. The total distance is 23 miles and the total ascent is 3064 meters.
Completing one marathon or 26.2 miles requires at least 3 months of dedicated running, not to mention a burning desire to pound the pavements for hours. And while 26 miles isn’t for everyone, running is a form of exercise that can pump your heart rate, shed fat and enhance your overall wellbeing. According to Prof. Andy Lane, sports psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton, exercising outdoors in a green environment leads to a positive mood. When compared to the gym, running outside can be even more relaxing since nature can keep your mind distracted from aches for instance.
To train for a marathon or a running session you’ll need to fuel your body correctly. You can follow these tips:
Remember to pre-hydrate for a more efficient run and better performance. Even mild dehydration meaning 1-2 % can affect energy level and mental awareness. At least one hour before the run, drink 500 ml of cold natural mineral water. Water with ice can reduce the body’s temperature and implicitly the amount of effort, allowing you to have a longer performance. When it comes to food, try eating fast-releasing carbohydrates such as bananas, potatoes and honey around 1 hour before the run. This food will give your body a quick energy boost.
Hydrate some more
Natural mineral water: still or sparkling can improve endurance, providing enhanced extracellular buffer capacity. During physical activity they restore liquids and salts and counter-balance metabolic acidosis, which is typical of the effect syndrome of sportsmen. Bottled natural mineral water that contains natural bicarbonate can contribute to reduce muscular fatigue and thus they increase the performance. In order to buffer the accumulation of lactic acid – produced during exercise- the body uses biological buffers such as the bicarbonate buffer systems.
After running, you must refuel with a protein-carbohydrate mix. Immediately after you should drink a natural mineral water and then aim to have a balanced meal, such as turkey sandwich as soon as you can. Remember to hydrate from within by drinking lots of natural mineral water in order to replenish minerals lost through sweating. The best choice to replenish electrolytes or minerals is to consume natural sparkling mineral water and avoid sport drinks which contains sugar, additives and artificial minerals. Clean, pure water coming from a verified source is the best drink in order to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
Feed your mind
If you’re adequately hydrated and nourished, your body and brain will function at its best. Listening to your body is also key. If you’re feeling drained don’t force yourself to exercise. You can plan later your running sessions so you don’t feel guilty about missing one but rather look forward to the next. Mindset helps as well, when you feel demotivated and think you can’t do something change that and set attainable goals.