I had my one little pity post, and now it’s time to move on to bigger & better things. Ok, maybe not bigger & better- but small & positive.

It’s been 2 & 1/2 months since I’ve been able to really work out- I keep wondering to myself, where in the world will I be when I can start again? It’s time to something to set myself up for the best return to running as possible.

Cross-training is always a great option to keep up cardiovascular endurance when you can’t run, but running is all about the cardiovascular system.

Some other areas you can work on to improve your running:

Flexibility

Not only does being flexible keep your hamstrings from screaming after a run, it helps your body recover faster by improve blood flow. Increasing your range of motion makes you a more efficient runner, and lets you focus on other things like getting up that hill! Runners are notorious for having extremely tight hamstrings- especially men.

stretching

Strength

A strong core helps keep your body aligned properly which helps prevent injury and allows you to have maximum power through your stride.

core strength

Strengthening your lower body may seem redundant, but running tends to use your biggest muscles, and lets the little ones get away with slacking off. Focusing on lower body strength exercises like lunges & squats can help you really focus in an those ever-important leg muscles.

You may not use your arms to run, but having upper body strength helps you run with good form. Plus, if your arms don’t get tired, that extra energy can go into your running, not holding your arms up.

Balance

Improving your balance can help you run smoother, and therefore moving forward with less energy. Balance is important since you’re constantly switching from one leg to another, but it’s also important in dealing with uneven terrain or obstacles you may come across.

tree pose

Whether you’re running or not running now, focusing on these 3 areas can help improve your running efficiency, improve recovery, and prevent injury.

Looks like I’ll be doing some stretching, strength training, and balancing acts this week. 😉