Running for Equestrians

Have you ever been winded after a long course? Do you have a hard time in the heat?

A running program can help! Particularly running outside.

Running outside can help us to adjust to weather changes (i.e. the heat or cold), while also strengthening our oh-so-important leg muscles. Running can calm our nerves before a big show, and give us more energy throughout the day. Whether you ride a lazy horse or a crazy horse, all the extra energy you can get will help!

Obviously, if you have any type of physical limitation or medical condition (illness, injury, etc.), you should talk to you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist before beginning a running program.

For new runners, my advice is to start slow. Plan on going just one mile. Start at a pace that is nice and easy – being able to talk while running is an indicator that you are on an “easy” pace – and walk as much as you need to. Once you can comfortably run a mile, without stopping, start adding on. You’ll find that adding mileage comes naturally once your body is used to running.

This time of year, it is best to run early in the morning or in the evening around 6pm (or later). Running in the heat of the day is never a great idea! Always hydrate before running, as well as after. Water, sports drinks and/or coconut water will help to replace fluids and electrolytes lost during a run. You don’t want to run on a totally empty stomach, but definitely do not run after a big meal; I usually wait two or more hours after a meal before trying to run. If I am hungry (or it is the first thing in the morning) a light snack, like a larabar and banana, works for me (unless I am going on a very long run). I try to eat a good meal or snack with protein after I run, once I cool down and everything. Be sure to stretch after! The hamstrings, calves, quads, and hips in particular can be tight after running. Stretching can decrease soreness, as well as prevent injuries. Using a foam roller to roll out knots created by running is great too.

I hope you enjoy these running tips, and that you get out there and run this week. 😉

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