National Running Day is one of our favorite holidays of the year, but as any runner (or non-runner!) knows, mastering the art of logging miles without boredom and exhaustion can be tough! If this sounds familiar, then we've got the antidote: certified personal trainer and Zeel Expert Greg Doyle.
New to the track? A New York City trainer, Greg's worked with everyone from newbie runners to NYC marathoners, and knows just what it takes to get moving without pain, injury or tedium. Get your run on in celebration of this worthy national holiday with these four key pieces of advice, from Greg to you.
1. Balance your body. Greg works with many endurance athletes, and a seemingly simple yet crucial factor when beginning to run is to master single leg balance. As Greg reminds us, "When running, you are never on two feet, and having single leg stability will not only improve running performance but also prevent injury."
Practice your balance by bringing one knee up, bent at 90 degrees, and hold. Your goal is to stand in this position for 60 seconds on each leg (though you can work your way up to this!).
2. Resistance training. Often overlooked, resistance training will increase power, which helps you to run more efficiently while, again, helping to prevent injuries. Squats, dead lifts and weighted step-ups are great for strengthening the hip musculature.
3. Happy feet. When it comes to footwear, choosing the right sneaker is especially important for running. "Go to a running store and try on every brand," suggests Greg. "Find one that is most comfortable and buy it. Research shows that having a shoe that fits you is the greatest factor in injury prevention."
4. Start slow. One more practical tip is to ramp up your mileage slowly when first starting out. This goes for ex-runners too. "You may have run a half marathon 10 years ago, but that doesn't mean you can start out right where you left off," says Greg.