Whether you prefer running cross-country or laps on asphalt, running is an ideal cardio exercise anyone can enjoy. Add running to your fitness repertoire and burn calories as you explore the natural world. Or catch up on your favorite television show while logging miles on a treadmill. Just take steps to avoid the inevitable runner's burnout. Hitting "the wall" can put the brakes on your running program. Check with your doctor first, though.
Fight runner's fatigue with a suitable warm-up before your workout, and end with a cool-down. Devote five to 10 minutes to each period, working through wall-assisted standing ankle mobilizations, hip hinges, standing Frankensteins -- or gate opener stretches -- and yoga-inspired Cat-Camel and Warrior I poses. Get on your hands and knees with your back flat in a tabletop position for the Cat-Camel pose. Tighten your abs and breathe out as you pull your spine up. Imagine an imaginary string pulling your backbone to the clouds. Stay in this pose for 10 to 15 seconds before lowering your back. Push your glutes up, your chest forward and let your abs droop. Stay this way for 10 to 15 seconds.
Pace your breathing and avoid the energy-draining one-breath-one-step pattern.Try breathing in for two counts: one count each time your feet strike the pavement. Over your next two steps, release your breath. You can also inhale for two counts, as in Step 1, but exhale on one step, instead of two. Try both and choose the one you are comfortable using.
Drooping arms and a slouched back are signs of fatigue; nip them in the bud before they kill your run. When you feel fatigue set in, slow down, straighten up and focus on your breathing. To cut down on fatigue, maintain proper running posture throughout your run. Keep your upper body straight with your arms at your side and facing forward. Bend them at the elbow. Swing your arms dynamically as you run, but don't bring your wrist across your chest or stomach.
Add intervals, or fartleks, to go the distance without burning out. Run at a comfortable pace for three to five minutes before running at a faster pace for 30 seconds. Resume your regular pace after the 30-second interval is up. Follow each sprint interval with a regular pace interval. Gradually increase your sprint periods and decrease your resting periods.
Stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet to combat fatigue while running. Drink enough water so that you don't feel thirsty. Eat healthy, omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods, such as salmon, walnuts and avocados. Meat eaters, enjoy lean protein sources, such as chicken and fish. Vegetarians, get your protein fill with beans and low-fat dairy. Include complex carbs as well. Try whole-wheat pastas and breads for a healthier alternative to refined white bread. Aim for 20 to 30 percent of your diet coming from fats, 60 to 70 percent from carbs and 10 to 15 percent from protein.
Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.