Work up to your desired distance and pace
It is important to ensure that your muscles, soft tissues, and bones are prepared for the activity you are doing. When starting a journey toward reaching a goal, it is important that you have building blocks in place to support reaching that goal. For example, you would not build a house by putting up a roof before there is a foundation – same goes for running.
When deciding what type of running to do, you have to ensure you are able to run first. Injury often occurs when people try to take on too much at once. Having a program to build you up to your goal is critical in allowing your muscles and tissues to adapt. You have to be able to handle tensile forces being placed through them during activity.
There are 2 types of muscle fiber types – fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch muscle fibers are important for sprinting because they quickly turn on to their full capability, however they fatigue quickly. Slow twitch muscle fibers are good at endurance and long distance as they typically take longer to fatigue. There are many guides on the internet that can be utilized to start a training program to reach your goals.
Maintain good hydration
Whether you’re a serious athlete or simply exercise for recreation, it’s important to stay hydrated. Good hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level.
You may feel tired, have muscle cramps, dizziness, or other serious symptoms. Whether you are an athlete or not, you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. This amount may increase if you are exercising to make up for fluid lost when you sweat. Example: if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink approximately 50 ounces per day – about three 16 ounce bottles.
Water is only a part of the hydration equation, electrolyte balance is equally as important and possibly more important in those participating in varying types of exercise. There is a large variation in how much a person sweats but on average people will lose around 1400 milligrams of sodium per hour when exercising in moderate climates and 2800 milligrams per hour exercising in hot climates!
When exercising in moderate temperatures(70-89 degrees) it is recommended to consume ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt prior to exercise and for every hour after. In hot climates(90 degrees and up) you may consume 1 to 2 teaspoons prior to exercise and another teaspoon for each hour afterward. This can be consumed in the meal before exercising or you may use salt or an electrolyte mix prior to and during activity.
The type of salt is important too. Salt that has color to it, like grey and pink salt, will have a broad array of minerals and not be simply sodium chloride.
Vary your workouts & give your body a chance to recover
There is a balance to training and rest that allows your body to perform at an optional level. It’s important to give your body the rest it needs, so you continue to properly recover to participate in activities.
As muscles and tendons become fatigued, they can have slight tears which diminishes the ability to take a load and therefore, leads to pain. Sleep, nutrition, hydration, and varying training intensity and type are all important things that can go into the recovery required to keep you going.
Muscle and soft tissue becomes prone to injury as they become overworked without the ability to rest and repair. When performing the same activity many times in a row that places the same loads and tensile forces through muscles and soft tissue. Over time this can lead to weakness in some points of the muscle and increased thickness in other points. When you have these different structures of muscle fiber it increases the risk of injury as points of the muscle and soft tissue are unable to handle the same tensile load as other portions.
By utilizing strength training, endurance training, and speed work you allow your muscles to train through a range of motion, improve ability to take a tensile load through the entire muscle and tendinous area, and allow your muscle to adapt to different load types for sprinting or endurance work – all of which diminish risk of injury.
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