This post is brought to you by the makers of MOTRIN®
I love running. I love that I can just strap on my running shoes, grab my favorite playlist and head out to sweat it out and clear my mind whenever I want. What I don’t love? When I don’t prep properly. Not prepping sucks. It sucks big.
Wanna know why? Because your body does NOT like it when you don’t prep. And, as we head into summer, the importance of prepping your body for physical activity in the heat is more than important…it’s…well…it’s critical.
I’m training for the Shopper’s Drug Mart Run for Women 10k and a half marathon in September in Kelowna and I’ve just started to ramp up my training. I’ve created a 16-week run program that I follow and love. This week’s long run? 10k.
Now, I’ve run a few half marathons and I can usually decide to head out and run 10k, no problem. And, don’t be appalled if you just gasped at the thought of running 3k, not the 10k I just ran…this is my reality of fitness…yours is yours. Be proud of where you’re at. M’kay.
But listen…10k is getting up there in distance. And, if you’re not hydrated, if you don’t eat, if you don’t listen to your body…you’re going to suffer.
And suffer I did. And…to make matters worse? There was no MOTRIN® Recovery zone at the end of this run. You know what I’m talkin’ about, right? The big vans at the end of distance races that give you what you need for pain relief? Yeah…no van like that in my driveway…luckily it will be there for the Run for Women! Woop!
The day before my 10k I didn’t eat properly, I didn’t hydrate the way I should have and I had a terrible sleep. BUT, I had to get the miles in. The morning of my run I got up, got dressed and headed out for my run. Sans breakfast. Sans water.
(I know, I know…I can already hear my own Mother lecturing me…yours is unnecessary).
It was hot. So hot. I had no water. I didn’t eat breakfast. I was running on fumes. And it was a terrible, terrible run. I swear my legs were 897 lbs each, I stopped sweating at about 6km (hello dehydration) and my lungs weren’t talking to my brain…because if they were I’m certain my brain would have sent more oxygen around my body.
To say it was my worst run ever wouldn’t be a lie. Blech. You can even watch my FB Live as I walked, yes walked the last kilometer frustrated and mad at myself.
I’ve decided to write my 5 top tips for being active in the summer. Now, in no way, shape or form is this list all-inclusive, I’d need a Top 50 for that (perhaps later?!), but for now, the top five will do.
Tip #1: Hydrate BEFORE you head out.
Don’t just hydrate an hour before your workout. If you’re planning on exercising in the heat for longer than 45 minutes, you need to hydrate the day before. As a super “general” guideline, shoot for 2L of water the day before. Bigger people need more, smaller people need less…but generally, 2L will do the trick.
General Guidelines from the American Council on Exercise:
17-20 oz of water 2-3 hours before you exercise
8 oz of water 20-30 minutes before you exercise
Tip #2: Hydrate WHILE you exercise.
Take a run belt with you if you’re running, or a big beautiful (iced) bottle of water with you if you’re heading to a class. I typically freeze a bottle of water the night before and it thaws as I workout. There are few things better than super icy water during a hot workout!
General Guidelines from the American Council on Exercise:
7-10 oz of water for every 10-20 minutes of physical activity.
Tip #3: Eat before your workout.
Now, I know a lot of you don’t like to eat before your workout. Trust me, I’m in the same boat. But grab something small with some protein and something you know your tummy can handle. Do NOT load up of cheese or fatty foods, we’re looking to help you, not hinder you. When you consume fat before you workout, blood goes to digestion…you need the blood going to your working muscles.
So, have an egg with toast. Greek yogurt and berries. A banana and peanut butter. Something small but substantial. Yes? Yes.
Tip 4: Wear sunscreen.
This should be a no-brainer…but it’s not. Put on your sunscreen!! That sun is crazy hot and you can burn in a very short amount of time. I’m still looking for a great sunscreen to use while exercising outside (for my face AND for my body…cuz I KNOW they need to be different), so if any of you have recommendations, I’d love to try a few out to review!
Tip #5: Wear your hat!
I know when it’s hot out the last thing you really want to do is add layers to your exercise gear. But, wearing a hat will help ward off terrible things like sunstroke, which will make you feel nauseous and awful. It also helps keep sweat out of your eyes! Your hat will help protect your hair, skin and eyes from those pesky UV rays. Trust me…wear the hat.
And listen, you’re going to have a bad workout this summer. And, it’s okay. I woke up this morning with ridiculously sore legs. Why? Probably because as you fatigue your gait, stride and footfall change, so different stabilizing muscles have to fire…muscles that typically don’t fire for you. And that, that’ll lead to muscle soreness.
The good news? There’s help available!
Pain medication and muscle relaxants! LOL! If you think I’m joking, I’m not. I do believe there are medications out there that can help you get through your day with less pain and more relaxed muscles. For me, I’m a fan of MOTRIN® Platinum – Muscle & Body. Seriously. A BIG fan.
I even have a COUPON that saves you $3. Get it HERE!
To train for my half marathon, I need to run another 10k next weekend and on June 11th, I’m heading out to meet 40+ Hot Mamas in Calgary for the Shopper’s Drug Mart Run for Women…which I cannot wait for! There’s even going to be a MOTRIN® Recovery van at the finish line…it’s like they know we’re going to need it!
So, let’s make a deal with one another…we’ll both hydrate, we’ll both eat before our workouts, we’ll wear sunscreen and we’ll wear a hat. You promise? Cuz I promise.
And, when you’re feeling sore and your muscles are revolting, try MOTRIN®, Mama…ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, pain relief….OH MY! It’s there to help, you don’t need to “tough out” muscle soreness.
Take care of your body by hydrating, stretching and yes, ibuprofen for the win, baby!
To be sure this product is right for you, always read and follow the label.