We are so excited that you have made up your mind and motivated yourself to get off the couch and go for a jog! Running outside can be a great way to clear your mind, enjoy a beautiful day, and (of course) stay fit and healthy. But have you ever set out on your run and realized you were unprepared or should have done “this” before you left? We’ve compiled 5 things that you MUST do in order to have a successful and enjoyable run outdoors!
1. Use the Restroom
You do not want to be 10 minutes into your run and realize you need to go to the bathroom…NOW. Running tends to get your bowels moving, so be proactive and use the bathroom before you go for a jog. If you don’t you might be making a pit stop behind a tree or knocking on a neighbor’s door! Avoid an embarrassing encounter and use the restroom before you run!
2. Actually Tie Your Shoes
Okay, sometimes to save time, or energy, you may slip in to your already-tied-from-last-workout shoes and hit the road running. The problem is, if you can slip in to these shoes, they are not tied tight enough to support your foot and ankle while you run. Bend over or sit down and actually take the time to tie your shoes properly. This will help prevent injury and give you the best support and stabilization while you run.
3. Set Your Watch
Switch out your Michael Kors for a fun sports watch and use the functions to help you track your run. Use the timer to record how long you run, and the split time function if you are running the same path several times and want to see how fast you do a single lap. Also take advantage of the glow feature when you jog at dusk and struggle to see your watch face.
4. Secure Your Keys
Whether you step off your front porch and run the neighborhood, or drive to a local trail, you are probably going to have a key that you need to keep safe while you run. If you feel safe leaving your key hidden or disguised, try using a fake rock that fits your key and is camouflaged, or a magnetic key holder that hides under your car tires. If you’re more comfortable keeping your keys on you, try double knotting your shoes and tying the key into the knot. You can also look in to purchasing running shorts that have small zipper pockets designed specifically for keys or this awesome SPIbelt. All of these ideas will keep you from locking yourself out of your car or house!
5. Secure your Phone/iPod
Running with music an be a wonderful way to pass the time and enjoy some motivational jams. Phones can also serve for safety in case of an emergency. But phones and iPods can be frustrating if they slip or get sweaty from holding them. Invest in an arm band that holds your phone or music player and straps to your arm so you can run with your hands free, while also protecting your technology.
6. Prepare for the Weather
Unlike training on a treadmill, the elements are definitely a factor when you exercise outside. Wind, rain, sun, or snow can all affect the quality of your run, and being unprepared can lead to a miserable workout! Think about your outfit and what you will need in order to be comfortable. Some ideas (depending on your weather) include, ball caps, gloves, sunglasses, sunblock, visors, ear warmers, headbands, sweatshirts, long spandex, sleeveless tanks, and rain jackets. Remember that it’s better to be over prepared and enjoy your run than under-prepared and miserable! Also think about what you will want on once you start sweating. If the weather is chilly, but you will not want to wear or carry your sweatshirt around after the first few minutes, tough out the first part of your run so you will be comfortable for the majority of your workout.
Setting out for a run without properly hydrating can instantly cause problems. Without proper hydration, your muscles will feel more fatigued and tired, you might start to feel light-headed or dizzy, and you will have a slower recovery time. Prepare your body for exercise, and feel your best by drinking water before, during (if possible), and after your run.