Top 20 tips to help boost your energy for running

Stay energised for your runs - through your diet, exercise and lifestyle

Running requires huge reserves of energy - and a balanced lifestyle - for it to be a successful and healthy activity. As a result, it's important that you find ways of boosting running energy in your day-to-day life, through diet and exercise.

Here is our guide to increasing and maintaining your day-to-day running energy. From drinking enough water to examining your workload, the following tips will add up and set you on the road to successful running.

Everyone has felt completely shattered at some point - for no particular reason we simply feel run-down and exhausted. However, there is always a good reason or combination of reasons for this. In all likelihood, we simply do not realise or pay an adequate amount of attention to what we do to our own bodies.

One good way to think about how well you treat your body is to compare it to a car. So, our fuel is food, the mechanics are doctors and health professionals, and we recharge our batteries when we sleep.

With this in mind, would you really expect your car to successfully complete a journey from London all the way to up Edinburgh if you just half filled its tank with the cheapest, worst-quality fuel available? Also, if you didn't ever take your car for a service after you bought it, would you expect your car to keep running for a long time before it broke down?

People's bodies are of course far more complex than cars, but even so, we tend to abuse them regularly and then become surprised or annoyed when our bodies break down and we become ill or get injured through our training.

In view of this, here are's top 20 tips to help you stay full of energy for your running:

  • Make sure you take in the correct number of calories every day.
  • Make sure you get your food balance right and that it is made up of the correct amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats.
  • Take in a minimum of two litres of water every day - or more than this on the days that you exercise.
  • Eat several small meals throughout the day rather than eating nothing all day then a very large meal in the evening an hour or two before going to bed when you least need the energy.
  • Make sure you have enough good quality sleep each night. You should aim for at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, as you will need this to keep yourself recharged for running.
  • Even when you're taking a break from your training, try to do at least 30 minutes of activity daily. It will all add up: walking to the shops instead of driving, using the stairs instead of the lift, or using a bicycle instead of your car -  all of these will make a difference.
  • Try to stop drinking tea and coffee, as caffeine will cause you to have energy highs and lows.
  • Don't eat biscuits, cakes or chocolate as their high sugar content causes energy highs and lows, which will leave you feeling wiped out.
  • Bread makes many people feel very tired just after eating. With this in mind, try cutting down on toast and sandwiches, and see if it makes a difference.
  • Eat your recommended minimum five portions of fruit or vegetables every day.
  • Don't use alcohol as a way of winding down at night. Alcohol has very negative effects in terms of gaining weight and muscle recovery, and can also affect sleep patterns. If you don't want to give alcohol up altogether, try to have only one can of beer rather than the whole six pack!
  • Go to the gym or start some other sort of planned physical activity that will get you training around three times weekly. Ideally this should be in addition to your recommended minimum 30 minutes of activity every day.
  • Set aside a few minutes every day to do some stretching. If your work involves sitting down, being in front of a computer or repeating movements, your muscles are likely to tighten very quickly and this will often be the cause of shoulder, neck and lower-back pain - and more.
  • Take some time out to thoroughly examine your workload. You may discover you are attempting to do more than you're capable of in your work life and private life.
  • Recognise any stress you are subject to and plan to have some time when you don't have to carry any problems around with you. This is an additional benefit of going to the gym or running outside for a long period; during the time you are exercising,  you are less likely to think about  your problems.
  • Think about booking a therapeutic or sports massage once every couple of weeks. This will help to get rid of tension from your muscles and will give you time to switch off.
  • Taking up a hobby is another excellent way to stave off stress. If you think you won't have time for a hobby, then you probably have an unsustainable workload, which may result in you becoming ill.
  • Examine your time management with your partner and/or work colleagues present. There will always be ways of reducing your workload by increasing your communication and working together more efficiently.
  • Plan to have frequent short breaks, even if this only involves getting in the car and driving to a place you have never visited before. As the old saying goes, 'A change is as good as a rest'.
  • Don't put things off. If you take action rather than delaying something you will get a  positive feel and great sense of achievement.



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