Life Hacks For Runners
Just like everything in life, running has some very annoying things that we all wish wouldn’t happen. There’s a large list of things that can certainly make a running trip unpleasant; from sweat going into our eyes, to our headphones popping out as we run, and so on. I’ve compiled a list of amazing running life hacks that will make every run much easier, you can thank me later.
Change your Stretching
You definitely want to stretch before you go for a run, it helps prevent injury, get that blood flow started and whatnot. But what you didn’t know is that you’ve probably been doing it wrong your entire running life. Why? You must wonder. It’s as simple as this:
Holding a locked position for 10-20 seconds to stretch each muscle is known as a static stretching. Most people compose their stretching session with these movements only, and it makes me cringe every time I see it. Contrary to popular belief, static stretching does not help blood flow and it doesn’t reduce risks of injury; in fact, it might even reduce your muscular performance when you run.
Don’t get me wrong here, stretching is a must before you go on your running session. But it’s time for you to apply some running life hacks, and incorporate a dynamic stretching to your running routine. Dump those old fixed positions where you stretch to your limit that no one really likes to perform. Dynamic movements helps your blood run more fluidly through your muscles, it engages a larger quantity of muscles and it also gets your heart rate going before hitting the track; rope jumps, frontal knee raises, jumping leg curls and even 2-3 squats will get you properly conditioned.
Make a Killer Tracklist
One of my favorite running life hacks.
Select some of your favorite songs and throw them into a tracklist for your phone or music player. Music has a large list of psychological effects that can positively affect your performance, endurance and comfort while exercising or running.
(Those research fanatics can check out the 2012 study performed by the Sheffield Hallam University on the topic)
It’s not as simple as throwing music in there, though. Make sure you select some of your favorite songs, ones that get you really pumped up or ones that have a great impact on you every time you hear them. Adequate music will trigger psychological effects that will increase your physical capacity up to 25%. Do note, pumped songs have a superior effect; songs with 120 BPM or more have the greatest impact on your body.
Those of you who add weight training to their running life can also take this running life hack to the gym and get some extra reps.
Secure the Package
This running life hack applies for both men and women. Investing in adequate sports underwear will keep you safe from a bouncy and painful running trip. Don’t give me that face, we’ve all regretted that one run with loose bras or old stretched boxers.
Keeping everything in its place does make a notable difference, and I’m sure some of our fellow runner ladies would like to avoid dragging unwanted attention with unnecessary bouncing.
Prepare your Pre & Post Workout Meals in Advance
Nutrition maniacs, take note.
You’ve probably noticed how annoying it is to get back home after an exhausting run and having to prepare that post-workout meal your nutritionist sent you. For us group runners, the struggle is real with that one friend that is always late because he had to prepare his pre-workout meal. Jake, I hope you’re reading this.
Take a day to prepare the snacks of the full upcoming week and store them into kitchen containers before putting them in the fridge. I personally prefer to take my Sundays for this one, but it’s a matter of personal choice. Keeping your workout snacks ready for a grab-and-go situation is one of the most useful running life hacks; it’s as simple as opening the fridge and enjoying your nutritional meal. Plus, you won’t have to struggle deciding what to prepare after coming from an intense run.
Freeze your Bottle
No one likes a warm drink after an exhaustive running spree. Fill part of your bottle with water and let it sit horizontally in the freezer until it’s rock-solid. Next time you go on a run, fill the rest of the space in the bottle with water or your preferred hydrating drink and you’ll have a refreshing, ice-cold drink whenever you feel like taking a sip.
If you don’t want to water down your energetic drink, you can also freeze part of the bottle with same beverage that you’ll use during your run, that way your drink will stay cool and you won’t have to worry about your energy drink tasting like water. How’s that for running life hacks?
Double Hack: Stop holding your water bottle during long runs. 70% of the corporal heat is released through the head and the hands. When running, your body will release loads of heat that will warm up anything you’re holding, and I’m guessing you’re not a fan of warm drinks when running. If you don’t want to invest in a thermic recipient, you can go for a DIY bottle holder or get one for cheap.
Running Life Hacks for Keys
Man, if only I knew this one when I started running.
We’ve all lost that one (or multiple in my case) set of keys that bounced out of our pocket while jogging or running. It is especially annoying to those headphone runners that have no clue that their keys hit the ground.
I’m sure those who don’t listen to music while running also hate the sound of keys hitting each other inside the pocket, or keys potentially scratching the screen of your phone. Well, tying the keys to your shoelaces is the solution. Place one of your shoelaces through the keyholes or the key ring holder, and place the keys beneath multiple laces to stop them from bouncing and hitting each other.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Flickr, Libbie Dailey
Did you find these running life hacks handy? Comment in the section below if you’ve tried one of these before, and feel free to share your own!
Author: Sergio Bettiol