As we make our way through Lockdown 3.0, more and more of us have taken up running. It’s great for our physical and mental health, and is one of the few reasons we have to leave our homes. However, once your run is completed and you return home, what you do next could have a big impact on the benefits of that run. Here are some scenarios to avoid.
When you walk back in the door, don’t just flop on the sofa in your sweaty running gear. You may very well be shattered but just sitting around will result in you getting cold and your muscles stiffening up, not to mention all the bacteria living on your kit. Instead, jump in the shower or bath and put on dry clothes. Undertake some active tasks throughout the rest of your day, which will keep your body feeling loose.
Leave the biscuit jar alone. You will hopefully have worked up an appetite and therefore think you should reward yourself with a snack, but make it a healthy one. Before you leave for your run give some thought to what you will eat when you return, think protein shake or healthy smoothie/snack. If you don’t have something waiting for you, then you are far more likely to pick up whatever is easily available and that’s likely to be chocolate or other unhealthy snacks. Also, just because you have been for a run, it doesn’t mean you can pig out. People often overestimate how many calories they have burned and eat accordingly; they are then disappointed when they haven’t lost any weight. Depending on your weight, the average person will burn between 80 and 140 calories per mile. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn as it takes more effort to move that weight.
The same goes for alcohol. You may well be thirsty but don’t reach for that beer. The alcohol will not hydrate you, quite the opposite; not to mention those extra calories that you don’t really need.
Social media can be a very positive and motivating medium, but give some thought to how often you are posting the figures from your run. We might want to help you celebrate a Personal Best, but we probably don’t need a daily update. We all know that person who posts the minutiae of every run, don’t be that person!
Finally, make sure you listen to your body, not every run needs to be a PB. You should also plan in some rest days and recovery runs to allow your body time to recover. Sleep is also your friend, it’s the best recovery tool there is. Listen to your body, your body will thank you!