Always include a 3-5 minute warm-up before your training to activate your muscles. This can include walking, jogging or dynamic warm-up exercises.
Remember, duration is more important than intensity. If you have a hard time running the recommended times/distances, try intervals of running and walking.
For example, run for 3 minutes and then walk for 1 minute. Repeat until you reach the desired time/distance. Each week, increase your run time by 1 minute. Work toward a 10-minute run with a 1-minute walk break. Then move to running without breaks.
Cool down by walking then stretching. Post-activity stretching (also called static flexability) will improve flexibility and performance. A total body stretching routine is optimal.
A foam roller can help enhance recovery by easing trigger points of muscle pain. It can be used before or after activity. If used before activity, follow this order:
1. Foam roller
2. Warm-up exercises
Incorporating cross training into your routine can make your training more effective. Recommended cross training includes biking, rowing, flexibility training, strength training (weights or resistance), plyometrics, form running and core strengthening.