Cardio, something new gym goers usually shy away from (well I did at least), but just like anaerobic
exercise, your fitness and resistance levels increase the more regularly you do it! In the interim, however, there are a few things you can do to decrease the discomfort experienced during your run or High Intensity Interval Training. These are just also pretty useful for veteran runners!
1) Find a kick-ass playlist to keep you motivated – workout music service on youtube has made some fabulous compilations to keep the pace going on my iPod and there’s research to back it up in a study at Brunel University London in 2010 it was found that music can increase endurance by 15%! This is most probably because it distracts one through the aches and pains of cardio! I don’t know where I’d be without my iPod for sure!
2) Make sure you wait an hour or so after eating a light meal or snack before hitting the treadmill, you’re more likely to experience stitches (another pain!) which could slow you down.
3) Power up with water, just water, as flavoured and energy enhancement drinks often contain high amounts of sugar which will leave you at risk of energy spikes (and slows down metabolism!) Aim to drink half a litre during your run
4) Train smarter, not harder. I initially pounded away on the treadmill for about 40-60 minutes at a steady pace, which was good for building my endurance initially, however, I’ve recently switched over to high intensity interval training style workouts in combination with long distance runs so I’m always challenging myself. High intensity interval training ‘shocks’ your body into burning more calories without muscle wastage or stress – plus the beauty of HIIT is that it only takes twenty minutes, three times a week! I tend to do 30 second sprints with one and a half minutes rest six times.
5) Up your protein intake after you exercise – this will increase your muscle recovery and potentially reduce symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS