1. If you have a morning race or workout, decrease your warm up time with a hot/cold/hot shower before you go. It boosts circulation and helps jump-start your day.
2. Ouch! Wrap painful blisters in band-aids and duct tape to avoid further injury when racing. Afterwards, let them air out and keep them clean so they can heal properly.
3. Grab a cup of coffee 1/2 an hour before running to boost your workout performance. It takes about 30-45 minutes to work it’s most powerful magic, but you’ll feel like you have rocket boosters strapped to your feet.
4. If you don’t have a gel or sports drink available, you can drink a flat Cola for fuel. Believe it or not, plenty of sugar, caffeine, and carbohydrates make this the drink of choice for many athletes.
5. Get two pairs of running shoes and rotate them to help prevent injury. The shoes will last longer, and your feet will be healthier. Some runners choose a fast shoe for workouts and races, and a comfortable shoe for regular mileage.
6. Gauge ‘comfortable pace’ during training with the talk test or by singing the Brady Bunch theme song. If you’re unable to talk to your friend, or sing the song, you’re going too fast.
7. Take some cash, your fully charged phone, and toilet paper on runs lasting more than 90 minutes. Better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Trust me on this one.
8. Write down your training goal, race goal, etc. and stick it on your refrigerator. It’ll keep you accountable and remind others to support you. And, it’ll make you think twice before reaching for a second helping of coffee toffee crunch ice cream.
9. When it rains, use lots of Vasoline all over everything that could chafe, blister, or rub. Water is not your friend on race day unless your drinking it.
10. Run with a friend. It makes the miles easier.
Jason Saltmarsh is a competitive masters runner at distances ranging from 5K to the half marathon. In November 2013, he raced his first 26.2 at the iconic New York City Marathon. Jason’s goal is to share with others the benefits and joys of running, fitness and healthy living. For more information, please visit saltmarshrunning.com.