I love to run.
That's a lie.
The first mile of a run is brutal. Your body is still cold and the muscles are tight and less responsive. It takes everything I have in me not to turn around and head back into the warmth of the house. Running in the dark is no exception, but happens this time of year with the sun going down early and rising later. It's brutal and being aware of your surroundings at all times is a must or you could hit something in the road wrong and risk injury.
After that first mile my rhythm is established, my muscles warm and my body relaxes into an easy comfortable stride. And then, I love running.
Most days I run anywhere from 5-8 miles. My longer runs usually average 10-13 miles. My weekly average hovers between 25 and 35 miles. While not a die-hard marathon runner, I do enjoy a good run and feel tired and accomplished afterward. I love that feeling of knowing I pushed my body further than I thought it could go.
My runs require fuel, and for that I have to admit I am a major Clif bar fan. Since I have to head out early in the morning for runs, I usually grab a Clif Protein bar, a Clif Bar or a cup of yogurt topped with granola for a little snack. I'm usually taking bites as I run around the house pulling on my shoes, getting together the dog leash and stretching.
Did you know that eating before your workouts will actually help improve your performance?
Make sure you grab a little something to help you stay fueled for the road ahead. Of course, it's also important to have fuel as you workout so for that I am never without a few Clif Shot Bloks in my pocket. I love the boost I get from the energy and electrolytes in each shot.
Staying hydrated is crucial.
It's easy to do that when I am running up the canyon (water fountains for me and plenty of river water for the dog) but on city road runs it gets a little more difficult if I'm not toting my two-year old and her jogger stroller with me. This time of year, canyon running is out (see bears!!!) so city running is a must. It's hard to pack water for both the dog and myself when I can't just throw bottles of water in the jogger. I'm considering investing in a water belt but I'm not sure if there's a belt out there that will hold enough water for myself and my four-legged companion.
Apps are a must!
I have two apps I couldn't live without. I usually use the RunKeeper app to track how far and how fast I'm running. I know that some people have mentioned better running apps in the past, so if you find one you like and use let me know. RunKeeper has been good to me, but sometimes it randomly posts my run times to Facebook (even though I have it turned off) and then there was that week that I did the same run and it kept saying I got a new personal record for elevation everyday. Other than that the hiccups have been minimal.
My other app? Brightest Flashlight. It has really helped on dark roads. It's so bright my dog turns around to glare at me. She usually guides me around hidden objects I can't see as we run, but sometimes for personal safety I love having that flashlight turned on. You can find both apps in the Apple and Android stores.
Don't forget your recovery drink!
I love a good recovery smoothie after I get home while I am stretching tired and sore muscles. It's the perfect end to my workout. Eating products with good ingredients, eating before my workouts, staying hydrated and having a good recovery drink afterward have been a must for feeling good and having optimal workouts. Because the minute I slip out of those running shoes I'm in Mom mode, and that requires a whole different set of running shoes to make it through the day. Having a superior product with organic ingredients helps me get through the day.
This is a sponsored post from the Clif Company. I use these products all the time and was happy to share my opinions of the product. I was compensated for my time, but my opinion is my own.