For example, running is a sport that seems easy at a glance. Many people think that running does not require any special technique or strategy, when in fact, there are several important factors that require your attention. What are they?

Running activists as well as Sun Life Indonesia's brand ambassadors, Ibnu Jamil and Kelly Tandiono, have some tips for you to get the optimum benefits of running.

What is your warm up routine like before running?

Ibnu: Usually, I would do a series of dynamic warm ups. Before full body stretching, I would start warming up with a series of circular movements in a clockwise direction and then the other way around, covering the waist, head and arms. Add those with hip stretch and leg bending.

Aside from relaxing the body, these movements also help increasing its flexibility. So, the body will become more limber. Naturally, we will also avoid muscle injuries.

Kelly: Before we run, stretching and jogging are very important to reduce injury. Well, what I usually do is 1K or 2K jogging, followed by stretching.

From what I’ve learned, running also has its ABC, like ankling and deer running. We can find them all on YouTube. Aside from warming up, the food we consume prior to running is no less important.

What is your daily running distance?

Ibnu: If there is a long run above 20K, I will combine five distances, which are 5K, 7K, 10K and 15K. I usually start doing them a month before the event. If the race is below 20K, the distance would probably be just 5K and 10K maximum.

Kelly: Approximately at least 5K and a maximum of 10K per session. In total, it can reach 30K within a week. I do that if I plan to join a short distance run. Of course it will be different for a long distance run. I personally prefer the short distance run for faster and more optimum running.

What are your favored running gears?

Ibnu: The main one is definitely the shoes. The shoe size must be slightly larger than the feet, because the feet will expand when running, especially in long distances. Don’t tie the shoelaces too tight, so we could run comfortably running can feel more comfortable. I usually wear a waist bag or running bag to store my cell phone and money. Watch is also a must to measure time and pace.

Kelly: For me, there are sports bra and super tights or compression outfit plus arm-band. For gadgets, I always bring a smartphone or audio player to listen to music. It helps to encourage me, especially when running long distances.

Are there any special intake or food prior to running?

Ibnu: For me, the most important thing is to never forget to drink. Try to consume as much liquid as possible so you don’t get easily dehydrated. Because our muscles will cramp faster if the body is dehydrated.

For food, I usually eat bananas or other fruits and high protein food. Now there are many practical energy-enhancing products such as power gel. However, I prefer to consume natural ones like dates, honey or brown sugar.

Kelly: The distance you take will affect the amount and type of intake. If I run 5K or 10K, I still eat normally. It’s a different case if the distance ranges from 21K to 40K, then I need to do carbo-loading, which means consuming lots of carbohydrates. Besides that, I also drink protein shakes.

What do you guys do after running?

Ibnu: Stretching and cooling down are mandatory to avoid pain and stiffness on the leg muscles. I like to do static cooling down by pulling all the body muscles, from the legs to the hips. It’s not just easy, it also feels better to help reduce muscle pain.

Kelly: Definitely stretching. Basic stretching itself alone is enough to help reduce muscle pain or stiffness. Usually I do another 1K or 2K jog so that my body does not feel any shock.

Those are some running tips you need to know and d can try to practice, directly straight from the experts. Happy running!