Not every runner keeps a journal, but some find that recording progress is a great motivator. If you are able to record the events of your running sessions you can then go back and note the progress you've made. This can be a major inspiration as you watch yourself increase in endurance and longevity. Honestly, there is nothing more powerful than a good pat on the back to keep you moving along on your journey. In addition, running logs or journals help you to keep your routine organized. You may not remember exactly how far you made it in the previous days or what speed you maintained but with a journal you can simply look back at your entries.
Clues found in your running journal can also help you assess the reasons behind an injury, should one occur. Perhaps your entry will reflect soreness in a particular area after one of your runs. This could help give you information pertinent to what may have gone wrong at that time. For example, were you running uphill that day? What speed were you running at? What shoes were you wearing at the time? Were my shoes overused and worn out? There are a number of key factors that can be recorded in a running journal and therefore it is a very good idea to get into the habit of keeping one.
Our free online running journal is an excellent option for tracking your running progress online. You can find more information and even create a free account at our running log.
Strength training is a very important part of any fitness regimen. There are so many people who do not like the idea of weight lifting for fear it will cause them to bulk up. This is especially true in women. Nonetheless, strength training and weight lifting, when done properly, can assist in building muscle, strengthening joints and burning even more calories. Strength training works on muscle groups that may not be targeted during running and building muscle mass helps to burn calories at a much faster pace. Even if you only spend 30 minutes doing some sort of strength training a few times a week, the benefits will be well worth your efforts.
If you have no idea where to start or how to begin an efficient strength training program, you can purchase DVDs to assist you, hire a trainer or simply join a gym and take some classes. Additionally, some community centers offer fitness and strength training programs free of charge. This is always a great way to get involved in a good fitness curriculum. In fact, you can even go to your local sporting goods store and purchase some weights if you would rather not work out with other people. Just be sure to use the proper amount of weight for your build and size as you do not want to injure yourself.
Last, but certainly not least, always be sure to perform a cool down once you have finished your run. You never want to stop running and then plop down in a chair. Your heart rate should be taken down slowly and steadily. A nice cool down routine in which you walk until your heart rate decreases naturally, followed by some stretches, will help to ensure you do not wake up sore the next morning. When it comes to cardiovascular health, safety is always of utmost importance so never neglect being prepared, following basic guidelines on how to start running and taking the time to cool down at the end of your run. In this case, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.