Learn how you can recover faster with Epsom salt baths

Epsom salt baths have relieved pain and reduced muscle soreness for centuries. You should add them to your recovery plan if you run on a regular basis and still feel sore after stretching and foam rolling. Epsom salt baths could be the perfect way to boost your recovery process. Pro tip: it’s okay to take a day off from running, especially if you’re experiencing one of these 6 symptoms.

Epsom salt has relieved pain for centuries.

Epsom salt is a naturally occurring substance that’s extracted from saline springs in Epsom, England. It was first discovered in 1618. People have been using Epsom salt baths to relieve pain since then! Epsom salt baths are believed to be effective in healing sore muscles and relieving pain. This is great news for runners who want to relieve their sore muscles, aches, and pains. Epsom salt is also effective in reducing stress. A 15-minute soak in warm water mixed with Epsom salt can provide runners with the three benefits below.

  1. Pain relief

Epsom salt, when dissolved in water, separates into magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium is known for improving blood circulation in your body and aids in muscle regeneration. Sulfate can aid in your body’s recovery process. If a 15-minute soak doesn’t help with shin splints, these 8 additional tips can help.

  1. Relieve muscle soreness and stress

If you enjoy intense running or going on long runs, then you may experience muscle soreness. Your muscles could also feel sore on your recovery days. Stress and intense exercise can both deplete magnesium in your body. This makes you susceptible to cramps and aches. Epsom salt baths give you the opportunity to replenish the magnesium levels in your body. Speed up the recovery process even more when you follow this timeline after your long run.

  1. Prevent muscle inflammation

A 15-minute soak can relieve lower-body soreness after a workout.

Epsom salt baths have been used to treat sprains, strained muscles, and even bruises. Soaking in a 15-minute bath will help your body relax, speed up the recovery process of your muscles, and relieve pain in your body. If you’re at work and feel stiff or sore, try these stretches for runners who sit all day until you can get home to soak.

Soak the pain away

To soak in an Epsom salt bath, all you need is a bathtub and warm water. The water shouldn’t be too hot, but warm enough so that you feel comfortable during your bath. Try this lavender-scented Epsom salt if you soak before bed. This unscented version will get the job done too.

Soak two to four cups of Epsom salt in your bathtub and stir the water until the salt dissolves. You can also add any essential oil of your choice to the water for additional relief from stress.

You should soak for 15 minutes at most.

Soak in the water for no longer than fifteen minutes. Don’t stay in the water for longer than 20 minutes to prevent any toxins that the Epsom salt bath removed from your body from being reabsorbed. Take a quick shower to wash off the Epsom salt. Epsom salt can dry out your skin, so a quick shower is a good idea.

Epsom salt baths are a great recovery aid for people who enjoy running. A time tested tradition that can alleviate pain, reduce stress, help your muscles relax, and aid in the recovery process. This is true for veteran runners or someone who started running today.

Be prepared for any weather on your next run when you know what to wear

Knowing what to wear can keep you running in the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter. If you aren’t dressed properly you could experience discomfort while you’re running. You won’t have to skip a run because of the weather when you’re dressed in appropriate running gear. Summer running clothes are obviously different from winter running clothes. But how different?

Wear a rain jacket if it’s raining and layer according to the colder temperatures.

You’ll need to focus on entirely different things when you’re running under different temperature conditions. For the spring and summer months, ventilation is key. The more breathable your clothes are, the more comfortable you’ll feel. But for the cold winter months or wet-rainy days, your clothes should be made of insulated material and you should dress in layers. Check out our helpful advice and know what to wear based on the temperature. Whatever the weather, stay safe on your run with these 7 safety tips.

90°F+

Light-colored, sweat-wicking gear is essential when temperatures exceed 90°F.

This kind of weather is extremely hot so ventilation is critical. Running in light-colored singlets and shorts is ideal. Some women run in their sports bra and some men run shirtless. Make sure you apply sunscreen! Moisture-wicking socks help keep your feet dry. You sweat a lot, so quick-drying material can wick away sweat without slowing you down. A hat and sunglasses are crucial too as they will protect your head and eyes from the sun’s rays. Pro tip: here are some additional ways to beat the heat.

70-90°F

This kind of temperature is still warm for most runners, especially if it’s muggy with humidity. Again, running gear that’s light-colored and wicks sweat is ideal. Shirts, singlets, and shorts will work in these temperatures. Wear reflective running gear and follow these safety tips if you run in the early morning or evening.

60-70°F

Leggings and a pullover are great to wear running as temperatures begin to drop.

When the temperature begins to drop, that usually means runs are getting longer and longer. You might still wear a shirt and shorts, but you might also include a thin pullover. It’s a good idea to dress in layers if needed because you can always take off the pullover and tie it around your waist. As your miles increase, make sure you properly recover by following this long-run recovery timeline.

50-60°F

This temperature range is ideal for most runners. Opt for your favorite running shirt and a comfortable pair of running shorts. Don’t forget your pullover. As temperatures begin to drop, you’ll want to wear a hat to help keep your head warm.

40-50°F

This kind of temperature can be extremely pleasant for an outdoor run. A long-sleeved pullover, shirt, shorts, and moisture-absorbent socks will set you up for a great running experience. As the temperature falls below 45°F, consider swapping out your shorts for leggings. Wear a hat or beanie to keep your head warm. Consider gloves if your hands take a long time to warm up. Follow this 10-minute warm-up to get your body ready to run in the colder temps.

30-40°F

Moisture-wicking socks and comfortable shoes are essential for all temperature ranges.

This is when you’ll start to feel chilly on your runs. It’s time to start layering! You’ll need at least two layers on top, running tights, and wind/waterproof gloves. Add a third layer on top if you don’t like the cold. A headband or beanie can keep your ears warm. Moisture-absorbent socks are still necessary. 

20-30°F

It’s time to bring out your lightweight jackets! A base layer and two long-sleeved tops will keep you warm. Add your lightweight jacket on top of that to prevent yourself from feeling cold. You’ll also need thick running pants. Alternatively, consider thermal leggings and wear your running shorts/capris/track pant on top of it. Add your moisture-absorbent socks, warm gloves/mittens, and a cap for your head, and you’re ready for your outdoor run! 

Even if you live somewhere where the temperature can go from crazy hot to biting cold within the same year, you can keep up with your outdoor runs with the right outfits. This is the complete list of clothes you need to run for any temperature. As long as you dress accordingly and know what to wear, you can knock out those runs and keep your training on schedule.

Properly set training goals for a successful training experience

Running is a proven way to boost your health, improve focus, find motivation, and build discipline. As a new runner, you probably already have some goals in mind. Maybe you want to lose weight, finish your first half marathon, or enjoy the benefits of running. Whatever your reasons, you’ve just embarked on a journey that can change your life. However, without structure or clear goals, many new runners give up after a few training sessions. Setting short-term goals can give you milestones during your training journey to your larger goal. Learn to set training goals so you can build motivation and confidence that will guide you to the finish line.

The keys to set training goals

The road to success follows many paths. Credit – Jordan Vonderhaar

Often, runners use races as a way to test their training, meet other runners, and feel a sense of accomplishment. As a beginner just starting out, setting achievable training goals is key to maintaining motivation. Your main goal might be months away. When you set training goals along the way you give yourself a better chance at crushing your training plan. Follow the four steps below as you set training goals for the next event on your calendar.

  1. Visualize long-term goals

Do you want to run a marathon or half marathon someday? Training for and completing longer distances will take time, practice, and commitment, especially if you just started running. Setting and committing to a long-term goal gives you something to work toward. Half marathon training might take 4-5 months. Marathon training could take longer. Both of them are possible! A long-term goal helps you visualize what you’re aiming for. Once you know your destination, you can build a training plan that helps you reach that goal. In order to remain motivated and stay on track, you need milestones along the way.

  1. Setting smaller goals

Smaller goals will lead to your ultimate goal.

Those new to running or training for an event may not be aware of the potential pitfalls that can interrupt your training plan. You can get hurt if you push yourself too much too soon. Injury can occur if you don’t properly increase your mileage over time. Your recovery will be slow if you don’t follow our long-run recovery timeline. This could prevent you from reaching your ultimate goal. 

Small term goals have three main purposes: 

  • Steadily building your strength, stamina, and self-confidence
  • Keeps you motivated and on track steady
  • Creates incremental steps that’ll guide you to your main goal. 

You need to gradually build yourself up as you begin. If you start by running 30 minutes a day, slowly build off of that amount. If you begin by running 2-3 miles, then build from that amount. Make sure your body feels good and that you give it the rest it needs. Stick to your training plan as much as you can. Swap a run day with a rest day if needed. But make sure you’re eating healthy, hydrating properly, and getting quality sleep. These 12 tips can help make running that much easier during training.

As your training progresses, you’ll move on to longer distances and increased times. Your short-term goals are like small steps you take to reach your destination. Think of it this way, when you’re climbing a large set of stairs, you can’t just jump from the bottom step to the top. You have to walk up the stairs to reach your destination. Your short-term goals are those small steps that’ll get you to the top.

  1. Achievable and actionable steps

Your goals will empower you!

Training goals that you can achieve will empower you and keep you enthusiastic about running. Numbers and statistics can be a huge friend when you’re setting achievable goals. If you feel good after 3 miles, try 4 or 5 miles next. Don’t jump to 7 or 8 miles. Gamifying your running experience can help you too. There are many apps, like Under Armour’s MapMyRun, that you can use along your running journey. Using apps that measure your time, mph, speed, distance, and heart rate assist you in actively measuring your success. 

When you realize that you’ve achieved the short term goals you’ve set for yourself, you’ll be more inclined to pursue harder goals. Your achievable training goals should take into account the following: 

  • Your current health status. 
  • Any underlying health conditions you may have, such as issues with blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, etc.
  • How much time you have to invest into your regimen. 

Enjoy the journey to the finish line! Credit – Jordan Vonderhaar

Personalizing your training regimen instead of following someone else’s will help you achieve the best results for you. If you need to take longer to reach your main goal, that’s fine, this is your journey! The goal is to reach the finish line in a way where you’re healthy, motivated, and happy.

  1. Ask veteran runners for guidance

If you feel intimidated at the thought of talking to a veteran runner, then don’t worry! Remember that once upon a time, they were in your shoes. They have tips and tricks that can help you become more efficient during training, like how to effectively warm-up before a run. They can tell you about the latest gear, hydration and nutrition products, and their personal road to success. You just might make some new friends!

Working your way towards your ultimate goal is a journey in itself. The road won’t always be easy, but setting small goals along the way can help. They decrease your chances of giving up, give your body the time to recover and build muscle, and drastically increases your chances of reaching your ultimate goal. If you’re looking for additional advice, learn how to incorporate the ABCs of goal setting.