Spring into action

 

Although thereÕs still plenty of snow on the ground, the warm weather isnÕt far away.

Many of us are eager to get outside and return to running once the weather permits.

But after the long season of hibernation, getting back into the swing of things involves more than just slipping on your spandex and lacing up your sneakers.

 

Fuel Up

Eating a meal that is rich in whole grains two hours before your run can help to sustain your energy levels while youÕre out, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Also be sure to avoid sugary snacks prior to a run.

They can give you a quick burst of energy, but will cause your blood sugar to drop, resulting in an energy crash.

 

Stretch It Out

The warm up and cool down are just as important as the run itself, U.S. triathlon coach Kim Schwabenbauer said.

Dynamic stretches such as squats and forward lunges, pre and post-run, reduce tight muscles and overall soreness in the days following your run.

 

Start Slow

ItÕs more than likely that it will take some time before youÕre running your favorite five mile loop from last summer.

Pick a distance that is reasonable for you and increase by 30-second intervals over time, Schwabenbauer said.

Rest

Running can cause micro-tears in muscle fibers, so itÕs extremely important to let them heal before hitting the pavement again.

Taking a day to rest or cross train between running days can help to reduce the risk of injury.