Running Outside: Tips and Tricks
This time of year, everyone loves being outside taking advantage of the weather. If you, too, wish to exercise outdoors, it’s a great feeling! But make sure you are making the transition from indoor running to outdoor running in a positive, fun, and safe way.
1. Set Your Own Pace
If you run on a treadmill, your machine sets your pace for you. If you run on an indoor track, you have certain points of reference for knowing how fast and how far you’re going. Outside, you’ll have to find out for yourself what pace is best, and you’ll have to map out your own route to determine your distance. Start slow, and realize that running on sidewalk and roads is very different from running on indoor surfaces. This has impacts on your gait and your muscles. Running outside can be harder, but it may also be also easier to find your flow.
2. Be Cautious
Outside, you’ll have distractions and obstacles you didn’t face when you were running indoors. Streetlights will make you stop for oncoming traffic. Crossing railroad tracks will make you change your speed. There will be hills you didn’t expect, because you don’t even notice them when you drive that route. Bikers will want to pass you. Stay alert, obey traffic signals, and if you’re listening to music, don’t make it so loud you can’t hear what’s happening around you.
3. Dress for the Weather
Despite the season, you’ll experience changes in the weather that will affect your run, whether this means humidity, heat, rain, wind, or cold. Take note of what is going on outside! If it’s sunny out, use sunblock. If it’s hot, wear wicking clothing that will get the sweat away from you. If it’s raining, you may wish to wear something waterproof – but note that waterproof gear is often not breathable. If it’s cold, put on running tights. If it’s allergy season, run in the mornings when there’s less pollen. And make sure you have great shoes.
4. Find A Friend
Running with someone makes the time go much faster. Also, if you still have enough breath to talk as you’re running, you’ll know that you’re not overdoing it. Running the course with someone else also challenges the both of you to be better, and will encourage both of you to keep good practices in mind, such as stretching before and after. You could also join a running club, which usually includes runners at all levels, to get to know others who may have similar experiences and goals to yours.
5. Make Goals and Chart Your Progress
No matter what your goals are – losing weight, feeling stronger, getting ready for a race – you should keep track of how you’re doing. It’ll motivate you, and if you’re having trouble, it’ll help you figure out what’s holding you up. You can also use apps, journals and other tools to map your route, monitor heart rate, and chart your progress.
Running outside can be a pleasant way to get your daily exercise, but there is a bit of a learning curve. Make sure you’re eating right and toning the top part of your body as well as the bottom. Keep hydrated and use a good sunscreen such as SolRx with WATERBLOCK technology. Remember to reward yourself for your successes. But it’s a lot of fun, so go to it!