Road Running Tips

Road running is just what it sounds like – running on the road instead of on grass or on a track.

You can run on any road, but generally road runs are a measured course over a specific area, marked out for a long distance run.

These races can be anywhere from 5K to a 40K marathon, and involve a large number of entrants.

Road runner's events are also held for para-athletes and people in wheelchairs. The most common distances for road events are 10K, half marathon and full marathon.

Running on roads offers special challenges that make the run more fun, such as hills, bends in the road, a variety of surfaces and bad weather.

The impact of the hard surface puts more strain on your feet, ankles, knees and lower back.

This extra strain provides a better workout, but can also cause a variety of injuries, so be careful and make sure to get a proper warm up before your run.

Learn how to safely run on roads

Road Running for Pleasure

The course on a planned running event is well plotted. The organizers do their best to ensure the route is safe, and you are told ahead of time of any tricky spots that may cause injury.

Also the route is usually blocked off from traffic to keep runners safer. When you run the road for pleasure, you don't have these additional benefits.

You may want to walk your chosen route before running it so that you know about any possible safety hazards.

One of the most important hazards to be aware of are the same inclines that do so much to help sculpt your body. Injuries can occur when one leg makes contact with the road at a slant or on a different level of elevation than the other.

Streets and many roads are slanted at the sides to allow water to run off. This means that even if you are running on a straight-away, one of your legs is higher up than the other. The foot on the lower slope can very easily twist sideways, and you know what that means.

Of course, the biggest hazard of running on the road is other people using the same space, especially cars. In wet weather you will get splashed.

On sunny days the driver might experience a glare from the sun, impairing his vision. It is safer to run facing traffic, but even then accidents can happen.

Running the same road with the same slant or the same pot holes you jump over every day can cause injuries that develop slowly over time. You might not even notice anything is wrong until months later.

So, change your route frequently. Getting a change of scenery also fights boredom. When you run the same route day after day, you get too comfortable, which can lead to carelessness. It also drains your motivation.

Running on roads can hurt your body if you always take the same route. Vary your runs to give your ankles and knees a break from the inclines

During a planned running event, booths are set up at certain intervals to ensure athletes are well fueled and hydrated. No one will do this for you when you run for pleasure, so you have to do this yourself.

You should be having a break about every half hour or so. Plan your route so that you can stop and have a drink or a snack. Or carry a few energy bars and a bottle of water in your pack.

Running burns a lot of calories. Waiting until after your run to replenish these calories could lead to long term health problems.

Running is great for your body and your overall health and well being, but so is eating and drinking. A healthy lifestyle means maintaining a healthy balance. Even if you are trying to lose weight, that doesn't mean you have to starve yourself.

Running has a lot to do with fresh air and getting back to nature. That's why many people prefer to run in a park or wooded area, but road running is also a great way to get exercise and have fun.

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