Running is one of the best ways to keep fit, be active and help with mental health. Ask any runner about their journey to running and you will find that there are a lot more reasons than listed above. It’s one popular hobby. Take it from someone who used to hate running (and I really mean hate), dedicating time to boost my fitness through apps like Couch to 5K, I have finally understood why people love running so much.
I am now a huge advocate for running as a form of self-discovery and improvement (which is a 180 degree turn from where I used to be on the love-hate spectrum). Regardless about how far and long you run for, any amount is better than nothing!
Here are 5 tips for running when you are outdoors:
1. Sun Protection
Staying protected from sunshine is key when running outside. Running without sun protection is it not great for your skin, and it will also tire you out a lot quicker.
Along with keeping hydrated, make sure that you have a base of suncream, SPF 50.
A lot of people dislike suncream because of the smell and ‘heaviness’. If this is the case, try using the kids version of your normal SPF 50 suncream. Baby products are usually less heavy on fragrance and additional chemicals.
If not that, there are plenty of no-oil varieties, just don’t forgo the skin protection.
Whilst running, there will be times the sun is shining directly into your eyes.
Try on a pair of Cebe Cinetik (Med Fit) sunglasses (pictured below) to keep your eyes protected and to avoid having to constantly squint. You may want to pair the sunglasses with a hat as well.
2. Music or No Music?
This is a debated topic amongst runners. On the one hand, running without music is a great way to concentrate on the moment, be aware, enjoy your surroundings and avoid having to carry any sort of equipment with you.
On the other hand however, especially for those who struggle with running (in terms of mental blocks), music is a great distraction to keep your mind occupied.
Music can also help keep pace or boost performance (via power songs). Of course, it is best to try both options and see what works best for you.
The great thing about running is that it can reveal your weaknesses (both physical and mental) so it’s about adjusting your routine to suit you and your needs.
3. Tracking Apps
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Tracking apps, and training apps for that matter, are a great tool for runners at any level. It’s a great source of encouragement and motivation seeing your weekly/monthly mileage increase.
Whereas whilst running on a treadmill, your pace is relatively steady and easily monitored, it can be hard to do so when running outdoors (especially when you have just started running).
Apps such as Nike Run Club (amongst many others) will keep a track of your milage, will keep you updated on your pace per mile, and can even track your route.
Find yourself a running buddy and you can even compete with each other through the app. Some training apps also have the same functions and can be a great help when training for a run (be it a 5k or a full marathon).
Again, like most things, it’s about what works best with you in terms of functions and user-experience.
4. Trails or Pavement?
I suppose this question has more to do with your current location than it does about choosing between the two (unless you are fortunate enough to live in a place that affords both pavement and trail running).
If I could choose between the two, I would prefer trails not only because of the fresh air, but also it serves as a better distraction when I’m close to hitting a wall (runners-block).
Pavement runs can be more convenient, though in this case it is important to be aware of your surroundings (especially when crossing streets etc). Whichever you choose, you can also adjust your footwear accordingly.
You may opt for more or less cushioning depending on terrain as well as distance that you plan to run.
You may need to try out your options to see what is the most comfortable and enjoyable for you. It’s important to take care of your feet and invest in a good pair of shoes regardless of terrain!
5. Mind Over Matter
Hoppy it's a sunny Monday!🐇 Two weeks until Victoria 70.3 and I'm just now fiiiiinally riding my bike outside! Trail snow is melting and the lake is warming! This week is going to be so easy to be training motivated with this sunshine that has been hiding for month! Happy Monday, friends! I hope you have a bounce in your step going into this week!
Running is definitely a case of mind over matter.
Whereas the initial stages of running (when you have just begun) may be a lot about increasing fitness and getting your body used to carrying its own weight, a huge part of running is about mental fitness.
You may be the fittest person but if your mind is self-sabotaging with negativity, it can be very hard to run to your full potential.
Track your thought process, focus on the moment, and keep your mind in check. That being said, it is important to listen to your body as well – if you need to run slower, then run slower.
If you need to rest in between your training days, then do that.
Running is as much about pushing yourself as it is about listening to your body and respecting it. The tricky part is finding that balance.
Now that it is beginning to get warm, have a look at these Top 5 Beach Outfits
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