#1: The first 10 minutes of your run might never feel good to you because it takes the body about 20 minutes to fully warm up...
#2: ...but the runners high does exist (for some). Intense exercise increases opioid levels and other receptors in the brain, says personal trainer Andrew Ginsburg.
#3: Your core can make a big difference – and not just during bathing-suit season. Strong abs will prevent the body from collapsing as you fatigue, which makes breathing more difficult.
#4: You should change your shoes every 800 kilometres. This is one time you shouldn’t feel guilty about splurging on shoes. If they’re worn out, your run will be harder. Find your perfect shoes here.
#5: A cup of coffee up to 30 minutes before your run can make you faster. “Caffeine helps mobilize some of the fatty acids in the body and improve how well it can produce energy,” says Tristaca Curley, a registered dietitian. Warning: Don’t attempt this for the first time on race day.
#6: A good sports bra is everything. The fit depends on three things: cup size (if it’s wrinkling, it’s too small and can chafe), straps (you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under these) and band (the bottom of the bra gives you the support, so you want it to be tighter than your typical lingerie).
#7: So is water. As little as a 2-percent water loss can affect your run.
#8: A mantra is corny but key. Saying things like “strong, fast, fluid” or even “I get a scoop of mint chocolate chip at the end of this” can help you get through the toughest parts of the run.
#9: Dress for weather that’s 10ºC warmer than the thermometer reading. “You may be chilly to start, but you will get hot fast,” says John Stanton, president and founder of the Running Room. If you hop on the treadmill instead, be sure to up the incline to 2 percent, which will mimic outdoor conditions.
#10: Hold your hands open as if you were gently cupping a handful of potato chips. Hands should sit near the waistband – if your movements are any bigger, you’ll expend precious energy.