By David Miller Public Relations Supervisor, BCPL
On April 29th, the Boyd County Public Library will host the 3rd Annual Love Your Library 5K. This event is unique in that it is not a fundraiser, but rather a way to showcase and raise awareness of the library, its many services, and outstanding community partners. Running is gaining in popularity as a sport, hobby, and means of exercise. Statistics from runningUSA.org show that the number of people participating in organized events, like the Love Your Library 5k, have more than doubled since 2005.
As the number of new runners continues to climb, it’s important to take time to lay a good foundation for a successful run. There is a sea of information available on healthy, safe running online and at your local library (materials on running are located in the 796 section of the non-fiction section by the way) but it can be overwhelming to take it all in at first. So whether you’re just lacing up your first pair of running shoes, or are an accomplished racer, here are 4 simple tips that are sure to help you run longer, run better, and most importantly, run safer.
We know, we know. Ever since elementary-school gym class we’ve be told this: stretch before any physical activity. Do you know why? Because it helps! The main cause of muscle injury during exercise is lack of stretching. Muscles that are too tight will pull and tear when thrown into sudden, vigorous activity. And pulled muscles and tendons won’t get you across the finish line. A few simple leg stretches, especially those working the calves and hamstrings, will go a long way in increasing your comfort, performance and overall safety while running.
Allow me to throw a little science your way for a second. Warning: this may get technical. When you aren’t properly hydrated, your blood volume drops. With less blood coursing through the body, it gets harder to regulate your temperature (among other things). At this point, your heart rate increases causing you to use more energy than you normally would. That’s energy that could be spent getting you to the finish line faster and safer. It all seems a little daunting, I know. Want a super-secret tip on how to avoid all that mess? Drink some water!
3) Dress Accordingly
There can be a lot to consider when it comes to what to wear while running. The basics are simply: wear what is comfortable. Shorts and a t-shirt work just fine. Maybe steer away from jeans and rougher materials as these tend to retain heat and cause painful chaffing. The absolute main thing to consider above all else when it comes to running attire is your shoes. You’re running after all, so protect those feet! Strive for good arch support and good cushioning. Finding a comfortable shoe that’s designed for running is going to be a valuable investment in your own comfort, success, and safety.
4) Know Your Route/ Have a Running Partner
The Salt Lake City Police Department have a posting on their website with an extensive list of running safety tips. It’s worth checking out and the very first thing they list is “Plan Your Route”. This is an important safety tip for many reasons. A safe route will keep you near access to emergency help should the need arise, and it allows you to identify pedestrian-friendly locations. When possible, run with a friend or inform someone of where you will be and when you should be returning. As you’ve heard before: there’s safety in numbers. A bonus tip when running in traffic-heavy areas; run facing traffic. Often times, especially at night, you’ll see vehicles before they see you and being able to reduce any risk of an accident is worth a change in your route direction.
So there you have them. 4 great tips to get you off to a fun-filled, healthy, and safe start to running. Now’s the time to take advantage of warmer, longer days and prepare for your first race…or your 50th ! Might I suggest the Love Your Library 5k? For more information or to register for the race, call the Boyd County Public Library at 606.329.0090.
Boyd County Public Library
Main, 1740 Central Ave, Ashland
Catlettsburg, 2704 Louisa Street
(Kyova Mall across from Elder-Beerman)