It’s easy to barrel down a straight street at the beginning of a run, moving your legs with what feel like huge strides. As your legs tire, changes in the course — like a steep hill — can be intimidating, especially during a race.
Shear is a 3:29 marathoner and co-founder of Uplift, a women-only fitness studio in New York City.
Here’s Shear’s advice about how to be a better runner:
Carbohydrate-loading before a big run
“Carb loading the night before a race really isn’t necessary and in fact has been proven somewhat ineffective, especially for women.”
“In lieu of that, eat a healthy dinner and then a solid breakfast including a good fat (like nut butter), protein and good carbs (like brown rice or sweet potato).”
Right before a run she recommends either a small handful of almonds or “if you need more fuel, try the good carb, good fat, plus protein combo, for example, a whole-wheat English muffin with almond butter and banana. And of course, lots of water is essential to good performance to keep muscles hydrated.”
To recover from a difficult workout try stretching and yoga
“For some of us runners, stretching and yoga is an afterthought at best. However, flexibility will definitely make you a better runner,” she says.
When it comes to running, a lot of it is mental
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned racer, those big hills can be daunting. Instead of dreading them Shear says, “When you get to a big hill, don’t panic.
“This too shall pass. To make it easier, shorten your stride considerably and make quicker, choppier steps while pumping your arms (and keeping your shoulders relaxed) to help propel you up and over.
“Don’t forget to ‘pop the top.’ In other words, don’t slow down and start dragging your feet when the top is in sight. Continue powerfully over the hill and then dial back to head down the back end.”