How many times have you started a run and felt like your legs were made of concrete? Surprisingly, they might not feel so bad from something that you did as from something that you didn’t do. Taking good care of your legs before and after running can improve the ease in your running workouts, increase performance, and even speed up your recovery time. In this post, we will share 10 tips to keep your legs fresh and healthy for your next run.
We suggest eating at least 3 hours before running. Be aware that almost nothing you eat immediately before a run will digest enough to give you energy during your run. If you have to eat, choose foods you can easily absorb, such as a banana, a spoonful of honey, or a handful of dried fruit.
Drink at least 8 oz. of water a half hour before your workout. If you’re going for longer than a 10K, you might consider taking a water bottle or planning a route that has water stops along the way. Staying hydrated can help reduce lactic acid build-up and keep your legs from cramping, especially in hot weather.
3. Loosen up
Conventional wisdom is now recommends not to stretch before running. But, we recommend you try the ChiRunning Body Looseners instead. Ankle rolls, hip rotations, and knee circles are a few gentle exercises you can do to get your body loose and relaxed without straining cold muscles and joints. See the ChiRunning book or DVD for a detailed explanations.