5 Things Even Veteran Runners Need to Be Reminded Of

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Veteran runners often seem to no worries in the world when it comes to heading out for a training run. But too often, we make silly mistakes that humble us and remind us that we are not superhuman after all.

Beginners are often overzealous and are constantly readjusting as they run further and/or longer. Sometimes it has been years since we have suffered the consequences and our lackadaisical attitude can be dangerous.

Sunscreen

Over time, many runners stop applying sunscreen as it is just one more thing keeping them from getting out the door quicker. Keep a bottle next to your running shoes and take the 1 extra minute to apply exposed areas.

This is especially important in the winter time when lessened sun exposure means that you are far less likely to slather it on your face. It is never too late to make this habit. Your future self will thank you.

Hydration

Many veterans get to the point where they think they can get by on less water. They may stop carrying a bottle or forgo stopping at a water fountain along the way. Some of this can be chalked up to acclimating, but some veterans put themselves in dangerous conditions by being too brazen.

I was under-prepared a few years ago and made the mistake of drinking contaminated water. Now I always ensure that not only do I carry enough water, but I am prepared if conditions are worse than they seem.

Anti-chafe

Much like the sunscreen, it is something that seems like an extra step that just takes time. The results are not detrimental long-term.

However, chafe can ruin a run and often cause a change in gait or arm swing as runners attempt to manage the pain. If you are prone to chafing, keep the anti-chafe supplies next to the sunscreen.

Calories

Runners training for distance often go from taking in too many calories to not taking in enough. The human body can survive for quite some time without food, but training and recovery is not advisable without it. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

While runners can make it through a long run without a gel or liquid nutrients, it is better to simulate race conditions as best as possible. Use this to your advantage to try new things with each run and take note of how you feel.

Personal safety

Running the same route at the same time might start to feel incredibly comfortable. You might forgo personal safety devices such as pepper spray, a whistle, a reflective vest, or blinking lights simply because nothing has happened.

But anything can happen to anyone at any time. Stay alert and be proactive in making sure you are prepared as possible for unaware drivers, wildlife, or bad humans.

Carissa Liebowitz has run the Boston Marathon as well as dozens of marathons and half marathons. You can follow her running adventures on Instagram and her blog.

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