How to train for Hike, Run & Explore!
It’s that time of the year when the leaves begin to turn from green to autumnal hues of yellow and orange, and the temperatures begin to cool making for idyllic running conditions.
Whether you’re new to the running scene, just getting back into it or are a seasoned runner, now is a great time to get started on a four-week training plan to condition your body for Hike, Run & Explore!
This annual event is a community favorite, bringing friends and family together to spend a day outdoors, savoring the last few days of summer while celebrating personal wellness. The morning begins with 5K and 10K races through the beautiful streets of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights.
There are four guided hikes planned of varying distances for all fitness levels, from a 1-mile pet-friendly hike through the Nature Center habitats to a 12-mile rigorous hike to Lake Erie.
The day continues with craft brews from BottleHouse Brewery, reenergizing coffee from the Rolling Beans Expresso and bites to eat from Jones Bones BBQ. The afternoon is filled with free fun for all ages with archery, tree climbing, games and crafts.
For those planning to participate in the races or hikes, here are a few tips to help you train over the next four weeks:
- Establish a warm-up routine: Practice dynamic stretching before and after each run to get blood flowing and help prevent injuries by strengthening your muscles.
- Start slow: Begin with aerobic base training. This means you walk some and run some and you do so in phases. Start with a mile, running for two minutes and walking for three minutes, continuing in that pattern until you reach a mile. After a week, increase the distance or the amount of time spent running. Starting slower in the beginning will help condition your body properly so you can go faster in the future. Aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that improve oxygen transport to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, improves the rate of lactate removal and increases energy production and utilization, according to Active.
- Wear white: Generally speaking, white tends to reflect light whereas black absorbs it. Experts advise if you’re running during the day, wear breezy light-colored clothing and during the evening, bear some skin to allow sweat to evaporate.
- Consider the weather: During these last few weeks of summer, humidity levels may be considerably high, not making for the best running conditions. While the temperature in the morning is usually the coolest, it can also be the most humid part of the day. Take a look at the forecast and try to find a time of the day where the humidity is below 40 percent. If you have no good options for a day without humidity, try running somewhere with shade, like the wooded Stearns Trail at the Nature Center.
- Stay hydrated: When you’re exercising more often than usual, especially in warmer temperatures, it’s important to stay hydrated. Your water consumption should actually start before your run. Consider drinking one 16-oz glass of water before your run, then plan on having at least one water bottle on hand if you’re going for a run over 30 minutes. Don’t let that be the only water you drink throughout the day!
- Have fun: Bring a pair of ear-buds and turn on your favorite playlist! Release some energy or built-up stress with a fun run through your favorite park or neighborhood. It’s been said time and time again that exercising is good for the body, but it also makes you happier, fights insomnia and decreases anxiety levels.
We wish you the best in your training endeavors and hope to see you on Sunday, September 16 for this year’s Hike, Run & Explore! Register now through September 3 for a $10 early-bird discount. Register here.
*Special thank you to Deanna Power who contributed to this article.