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Beginners: Here are four helpful ways to prepare yourself before your run

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Running is one of the simplest activities on the planet, and with proper gear and preparation, anyone can do it. There are many helpful ways to prepare to get the most out of your run, but what’s the most important? If you mentally and physically prepare the night before, it can put you in the right space to have a good run and lower your risk of injury.

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Here are four easy helpful tips to get ahead start on your next run.

1) Map out your route 

If you know how much time you have or a certain distance planned on your training schedule, map your route ahead of time. Check the weather and make sure your route has plenty of shade if it’s warm, plus plowed roads or sidewalks in winter. 

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When you plan your route ahead of time, you are already aware of the time you have to run the distance. If you end up getting lost or making up the route as you go, the chances are your run will take longer than you expected.

2) Hydrate 

Hydration is a hot topic for most runners during the summer, but when winter rolls around, the concern for staying hydrated tends to drop with the temperature. Although you do sweat less when it’s cold out, keeping up your fluids is still important if you want to feel and perform at your best.

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A glass of water before you go to bed will optimize your performance for your run the next morning. 

3) Prep your running clothes and shoes  

We know everyone did this as a kid before their first day of school… the same applies to running. Save time in the morning by picking out the running clothes and shoes you’ll wear the night before. Check the weather and make sure you have the proper gear according to the temperature outside.

Photo: Matt Stetson

The best way to dress is by following the 10-degree rule: dress for 10 degrees warmer than it is. In other words, once you get warmed up, if it’s 5 C outside, it will feel like 15 C, because your body temperature will rise as your run progresses. (This means you should feel cold when you start. If you feel comfortably warm before you start, you are probably overdressed and will soon have to shed layers.)

4) Morning meal prep

If you are running in the morning, then you may want fuel with a small snack before you head out. Prepare to have the snack first thing in the morning to let the food settle in your stomach before running. Some simple popular morning snacks for runners are bananas, oatmeal, cereal or toast with peanut butter.

These preparation tips are easy yet simple and will help you save time heading into your next morning run. 

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