What to do on Non-running days to become a better runner
Rest is important to running as much as the training sessions. Endurance running can put your body under tremendous stress as cortisol levels builds up in the body which is not good for your overall health. Running also puts tremendous stress on joints and various muscles group around the knees and ankles. In order to perform well in your next run, it’s important for your body to have fully recovered from the stress of last run and then only you will be able to perform better than before. Therefore, taking enough rest and napping for at-least 7-8 hours every day will help your body recover fast.
In case you are not really sure if you have fully recovered from you last run, you can observe certain signals that your body gives. Increased resting heart rate, soar body on waking up in morning, feeling fatigue and difficult falling to sleep etc. are signs that you need to wait longer before next training session.
Maintaining a healthy Carb-Protein-Fat ratio in diet
A runner needs good amount of both protein and carbs to meet his energy requirement. Protein, carbs and fat needs to be taken in a certain ratios so that the body is able to absorb the best of all as per its need. Carbs are a source of energy while protein helps in muscle recovery and muscle growth after running. Fat also plays an important role in everything from brain function to cell structures.
As per the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it recommends eating within the following ranges:
- Carbohydrates: 45-65% of calories
- Fat: 20-35% of calories
- Protein: 10-35% of calories
Depending on your goals i.e. fat loss and muscle gain, you can vary the percentage of each to suit your demand. Endurance athlete need to consume more carbs while a bodybuilder will need to increase the amount of protein in his diet.
Also, when it comes to choosing carbs, the more complex the better it is. Foods such as brown rice, vegetables, whole grains etc. are great examples of complex carbohydrates.
Doing strength training
A runner doing strength training regularly will be able to perform much better in runs then someone who skips this part. Running involves various muscles in the body and we must keep it in good shape to extract all the benefits during the endurance run. Strength training might also help you trick the body into using fat as a source of energy and not muscles and will further help you in maintaining a healthy muscle to fat ratio. You can also perform exercises to strengthen your core which will help a great deal in running. The stronger the core (area around abs), the better is your posture for running, thereby minimizing you chances of injuries.
Drinking plenty of fluids
Make sure you are properly hydrated on non-running days is also an important part that most people ignore.. Water is needed to regulate the temperature of your body and lubricate the joints. It also helps in transporting nutrient in the body for sustained energy levels. How much to drink is a difficult questions but the answer is simple. Drink whenever you feel thirsty, which usually is about eight glass of water on non-running days to keep your system hydrated and in the best condition to run. There is also a simple check to make sure you are staying properly hydrated. If your urine is consistently colourless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-coloured urine is a sign of dehydration.