Faster Than the Speed of Light
Summer is a great time for people to start running programs. The weather is nice and the days are longer, allowing more time for running outdoors. And although many people think there is not much to running, there is more then meets the eye.
- A runner’s most important piece of equipment is running shoes. A good running shoe will take your running style and the arch of your foot into account. Find yourself a great running shoe store, where they will spend the time watching you walk and run to make sure you’re getting the best pair of running shoes for your body. Incorrect shoes can contribute to lower back problems.
- Along with running shoes you are going to need a good pair of socks. Not only can a good pair of socks help keep your feet dry during a run, but they can also help prevent blisters. Several brands even have built in arch support for a little more shock absorption while you run.
- In the heat of the summer, it is important to have running shorts and shirts that will help pull the sweat off your body so your body can control body temperature better. Remember to wear light clothing not only in thickness but color. A lighter color will attract less heat then a dark color.
- Stay hydrated! The hot sun and warm temperatures will take a serious toll if you don’t watch your hydration levels. Drink a glass of water before a run, and try taking a few sips every 15-20 minutes. If you’re going for more then 45 minutes, you may want to have an electrolyte replacement like Gatorade. It is important to stay well hydrated to avoid heat cramps, and stroke. It only takes about a 4% body weight loss in hot weather to get you in major trouble. You may want to weigh yourself before and after a run. For every pound sweated out, drink a glass or two of water to help rehydrate you. New energy drinks with 4:1 or 6:1 carb to protein ratio will help rehydrate and replace those lost carbs faster.
- Always remember to stay out of the noon sun for runs. This is when the sun is at its hottest. Humidity may also be at its worst. Try scheduling your runs in the early morning or late evening, and always tell a friend or family member you are going for a run and tell them how long you plan to be out. Think of this as the buddy system in swimming. In case something does happen, they will know to look for you if you’re not back in time.
- Lastly, always get checked out by a sport specialist like a chiropractor, exercise specialist, kinesiologist, etc. They can look at your flexibility, muscle strength, and balance. Getting checked out should give you some idea of how long you can run, as well as any muscular weaknesses you may have to work on to keep you well balanced and injury free. Your chiropractor is definitely the man to see if you do have an injury such as shin splints, achilles tendonitis, IT band tightness and lower back pain. They will not only give you the proper chiropractic adjustment, but also recommend exercises and modifications for your running program or equipment to help keep your running faster then the speed of light.
Hope these helpful tips help elevate your running to the next level. Have fun and stay safe.
Dr. Pietro Baio is a Brooklyn chiropractor.