Although your running energy requirements can partly be met by having a balanced diet, you also need a balanced lifestyle. A good way of comparing how you treat your body is to relate it to a car. So, food is our fuel, doctors or health professionals are the mechanics and sleep is like having to recharge your battery.
So, with that in mind would you expect your car to make a long journey if you only half filled the tank with the cheapest, poorest quality petrol or gas available? If you never took your car for a service from the day you bought it, how long would you expect it to keep running before it broke down?
Our bodies are infinitely more complex than a car yet we abuse them beyond belief and then get annoyed or act surprised when our body breaks down and we get colds or even injured through running training.
In light of this, here are 21 top tips to keep you running well and feeling full of energy:
- Ensure you get the right amount of calories per day.
- Ensure your food balance is correct and made up of the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and essential fats.
- Boost your running energy by drinking at least two litres (approx. 70 oz) of water per day, more if you exercise.
- Eat small meals throughout the day instead of nothing all day then a huge meal at night when you least need the energy before going to bed.
- Ensure you get enough quality sleep every night. Preferably seven hours uninterrupted to keep your running recharged.
- Even if you're taking a break from running, take part in at least 30 minutes of activity everyday. It all adds up: walking to the shops instead of driving, cycling instead of driving or simply taking the stairs, all make a difference.
- Avoid tea and coffee because of the caffeine which causes energy peaks and troughs.
- Boost your running energy by avoiding cakes, biscuits and chocolate during the day as the high sugar content will cause energy peaks and troughs leaving you feeling wiped out.
- Bread can make a lot of people feel very tired shortly after eating, so try to cut down on sandwiches and see if that makes a difference.
- Eat the recommended portions of vegetables or fruit per day.
- Try not to rely on alcohol as a means of unwinding during the evening. It has very negative effects physically in terms of muscle recovery, weight gain and on sleep patterns. Or, if you can’t give it up, try and have a glass of wine rather than the whole bottle.
- Join a gym or try to start some sort of structured physical activity that gets you training about three times a week. Ideally this is on top of your 30 minutes of daily activity.
- Dedicate just a few minutes a day to doing some stretches. If your job involves sitting, using a computer or involves repetitive movements, muscles will tighten very quickly and this is often the cause of lower-back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and more.
- Boost your running energy by sitting down and examining your workload. It could be the case you are trying to do more than you are capable of in terms of private life and work life.
- Appreciate any stress you are under and try to have time periods where you are not carrying problems around with you constantly. This is another advantage of the gym or a long run; for that couple of hours you don’t think about work related problems.
- Consider having a therapeutic or sports massage once every two weeks. This helps keep tension out of the muscles and gives you time to yourself to switch off.
- A hobby is another really good escape route from stress. If you don’t have time, you may have an unsustainable workload which could result in illness.
- Sit down with your partner and or or business colleagues and look at time management. There are always ways of cutting workload by increasing communications and working together better.
- Plan frequent short breaks. Even if you just get in the car and decide to drive somewhere you have never been to before. The old saying, 'a change is as good as a rest’ is true.
- Try not to put things off. If you take action against something rather than delaying it you will get a lifting sense of achievement and a positive feel.
- Make a list of all the things that are bothering you and plan when and how you can sort them out.