Winter. The word alone is enough to induce eye-rolling and shudders for some, and for runners and those who take part in outdoor sports, it often means months of being confined to a basement treadmill or stuffy gym.
Fortunately, the season has come to a close, and people are anxious to get back outside and hit the trails just as fast as they can. And while it’s easy to throw caution to the wind after a long stretch indoors, there are three important things runners should remember to make the most of summer:
Don’t push yourself too far too fast! Whether or not you stayed in shape over the winter, you likely won’t be able to run the same distance and speed the very first time you hit the trails- and you shouldn’t try to! It takes time and effort to build up endurance and overexerting yourself can lead to injuries like runners knee, shin splints, or Achilles tendinitis that require time to rehabilitate and can set you back even further. Follow a schedule that gradually builds up to the desired level of speed and distance to minimize chances of injury and get yourself back to pre-winter race levels in a timely and safe manner.
You’ve heard it before but it’s still great advice: use proper sun protection! Even on cloudy days it’s important to make sure you’ve got sport sunscreen applied and ideally are wearing a hat to prevent burns and reduce skin damage.
Stretch it out! It only takes a few minutes and boasts all kinds of benefits, including increasing your range of motion for a variety of body parts, reducing your risk of injury, and improving your run in the long term! Not to mention it can be completely relaxing and feel great after a run.