How to Make the Most Out of Your Run

How to Make the Most Out of Your Run

Our trail running sports leader, Joey, recently reviewed four running items to get moving. 

As an expert runner in the Bay Area, Joey practices his sport when he feels compelled to: simply by running right out the door toward any park, trail or path within reach. When time permits, he prefers regional open spaces to explore new routes. We asked Joey how he practices his sport, and if he has any pointers for other runners:

What is your favorite way to practice your sport?

I select a large race six months in advance and spend the weeks leading up to the event tailoring my training to optimize my chances of running a personal best. However, nothing beats a relaxed long run with a group of friends and new acquaintances through an epic trail.

Why do you practice?  

At first, I ran because I only considered it a sport. Now, running for me is a lifestyle. Running is an escape, a test, but most importantly, a journey. When I begin a run, I immediately let go of any stressors that may be distracting me before I pushed start on my stopwatch, and I become connected with my body. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the sense of pride I get after completing even the simplest of runs. I’ve met hundreds of people through the sport, and continuing to practice helps me create new, lasting friendships.

Any additional tips for runners?

Throughout the years, I’ve picked up many running tips. The most important one I've learned and would share?

Fuel your body.

This includes before and after your run! A car cannot perform without fuel, and our bodies operate the same way. Often, I hear about people who wake up in the morning and go for their run without eating. If we assume that their last meal was at dinner time the previous day, that is over 8 hours without any form of nourishment! Even if it’s as small as a health bar, take some time as you’re getting ready to munch on a pre-run snack.

If you’re not used to eating before a run, it may take practice! Don’t go trying your new eating method for the first time before an important race; instead, take time throughout the week to test different foods before you run to find out what will work for you. You may find that you can stomach some foods earlier or later than others. It’s better to get a cramp in practice than it is to have one during the race circled on your calendar.

My favorite go-to meal before a run is always plain oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and honey an hour before I head out the door. I’d suggest staying away from proteins within three hours of your run, as these take the body a little longer to digest; however, proteins make an excellent choice for after your workouts. If you can eat within 30 minutes after your training session, you will be well on your way to recovery before your next run. It is just as important to refuel after runs as it is before.

Try this out for your next race, and you might find yourself hitting those new personal bests!

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