By: Ross McDowell, owner of RunAway Shoes
The weather is finally warming up and it’s time to take running from the treadmill to the pavement. To make sure you are getting the most out of running outdoors this spring, there are a few things to be aware of before you get started.
- Running outside is going to be tougher on your body than running on the treadmill. If I’m being completely honest, the treadmill does a little bit of the work for you, so it might take a minute to get your stride back when you return to outside running. Your muscles are going to have to work harder to push you along and you may notice more fatigue than usual after an outdoor run. Just remember to be kind to your muscles, stretch them and give them a little tender-loving care (TLC) and you will be alright.
- Proper gear can make all the difference. Wisconsin spring brings melting and it tends to dump a lot of rain so your feet are going to get wet. Dry shoes are another essential element of running! Shoes tend to break down quicker and offer less support when wet; therefore, you may need more than one pair of shoes. If you run three times a week, one good pair of running shoes should do the trick. Even if you get caught in the rain, you can allow them a day to dry completely. However, if you run more than three times a week, you should invest in a second pair of running shoes. This will allow the shoes to perform at their best and give you a quality run because you will always have a dry pair of shoes to run in.
- I can’t emphasize this enough, stretching is so important. Make sure you give your muscles a good stretch before a run. This will help prevent cramping and soreness. A foam roller can work great to help release muscle tension. Yoga is also a good technique to help stretch the muscles. In addition to stretching, if you have any injuries, now is the time to address those. Make sure you are doing physical therapy exercises and working on those injuries now to make training easier the closer you get to race day.
- In addition to quality running shoes, a good pair of socks can transform your running experience. I like wool socks due to the moisture-wicking properties in them. Smartwool is a really nice brand of socks that prevents sweat and water build up and will also keep you from developing blisters during a run. Balega and Feetures socks are also sold in wool to make running better.
- Lastly, it’s never too early to train for a marathon or even a half-marathon. Making sure you are consistent with your base training will help you run better on race day. Sign up for smaller races that happen ahead of the race you’re training for; this will allow you to get the feel for the race environment and will improve your training experience. Running two to three days a week and three to four miles each time will ensure a solid base for the Community First Fox Cities Marathon presented by Miron Construction. Your scheduled training should start in May and continue until race day.
Visit or call RunAway Shoes today to learn more about running equipment and preparation for race day.