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Overcoming Irritation in Your Running Routine

Many men run to stay in shape or alleviate stress, but running can come with its own set of physical and mental irritations.

To show all men that they can eliminate these everyday irritations, Dove Men+Care Deodorant and John McEnroe teamed up to help a group of men run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon without irritation. As the team prepared for the race, New York Road Runner’s running coach John Honerkamp gave pointers on what it takes to reach the finish line, while “anti-irritation coach,” John McEnroe, armed them with tips derived from his own personal triumph over irritation.

Whether you are training for a marathon or just enjoy getting out on the track occasionally, incorporating a few tips from these experts can help you navigate your running routine without any interference:

1. Hydrate early. Dehydration takes a toll on your physical performance, causing nagging muscle cramps, dry mouth and fatigue. Honerkamp recommends drinking eight to 10 glasses of water every day to ensure you are comfortable and well-hydrated throughout your workout. In addition to water, your body needs electrolytes to retain fluids, so Honerkamp suggests having a sport drink close by. “If you are doing endurance activities, make sure you are properly fueling your body.”

2. Prepare for any type of weather. While you strive towards your fitness goal, do not let the weather stand in your way. Make sure you check the hourly forecast before your daily workout and carefully plan your wardrobe to account for any fluctuating temperatures or weather patterns. “As long as you are equipped with the proper clothing, even rainy day runs can be a lot of fun,” Honerkamp says. You should also keep in mind that your body temperature will change throughout your workout and ensure you layer with clothing that keeps you comfortable before, during and after your training.

3. Eliminate distractions. McEnroe, an athlete whose history of irritation is well-documented, believes many everyday irritants are preventable. There are a lot of potential irritations on any given day, and you have to minimize these distractions. For example, many people know that basic headphones constantly fall out while you are on the move and can be incredibly frustrating. Instead of buying a new pair, try wrapping the cord around the top of your ear instead of letting it fall straight down.

4. Make stretching routine. It is critical to take care of your muscles, before and after exercise, to avoid injuries and excessive soreness. When properly incorporated into a fitness regimen, stretching can also prove to improve muscle activity and help your body recover more quickly. Honerkamp also recommends icing muscles to reduce inflammation after particularly vigorous workouts.

5. Chart your progress. McEnroe believes setting goals is important to staying motivated. Decide what to focus on during training each week and evaluate your progress along the way. When you see how much you improve and how good you feel over time, you will want to continue the regimen to stay in great shape.

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