If you read my blog or know me on a personal level, you know that I have been running much more than I usually do because I am training for a half-marathon. I like to train for a race every summer, but this will be my first run that is further than a 10k.
Things I have learnt about running that I didn’t really incorporate into practice before and still struggling to do now:
1. Stretching before & after a run for at least 6-10 mins. Favorite stretches are lunges (super low), yoga poses like: cobra pose, pyramid pose and standing head to toe pose (with lifted leg placed on a higher surface, instead of balancing). This will prevent injuries, short-term and long-term
2. Music is a great motivator while running, chose music with a fast beat and get comfortable ear/head phones. However music isn’t for everyone so if you can’t run with music don’t force yourself to
3. Go at your own pace, its ok to compete with other joggers but don’t be frustrated when you feel like you’re running slow
4. Wear comfortable shoes, not tight but fit well. Tighten shoe laces to prevent your toes from banging the front of your shoe – from experience, when your toes slide back and forth a lot, they get a hematoma (most likely the longest toe) under the skin and turn black. This is not reversible, so your toe nail will end up falling off! yikes! I know…so gross, I have 2 toe nails that got a hematoma (bruise) – you can go to a running store where they fit your feet with the right shoes based on your arch and how you run
5. Rest on rest day, and if your body is exhausted, take a rest. It is important to push hard and beat PR’s but if your body is hurting, listen to it and get some rest
6.Do core workouts!!!! – I’ll be honest I haven’t been doing this at all but it is so important. A strong core supports your back and helps you hold a good posture, so running doesn’t hurt as much especially for long distance runners.
7.Keep a good record of your runs. Some people say that it doesn’t matter because your body doesn’t forget the workout, but being/staying a good runner is 70% or more in your head. Your body may be healthy and capable of anything but if you aren’t willing to do it..it won’t happen. Your records motivate you, you get fired up and you want to beat your highest records every time you go out on a run
8. Eat a good amount of protein and carbohydrates, hydrate well, but try not to eat anything for at least 3 hours before your run (fasted runs are my favorite, running right after waking up, but my schedule doesn’t always allow it)
Eating too close to your runs may give you stitches, cause you to get nauseated or even throw up, and its just so uncomfortable to run with a full stomach)
9. Running outdoors guarantees a more enjoyable run and you’re likely to run further than running on the treadmill
10. Last but not least, partners are great or even joining a big group of runners who run frequently, but it is not for everyone. Sometimes our partners may slow us down or discourage us because their pace is faster, so if you’re lucky enough to find a compatible partner, motivate each other and don’t loose them!!
If you’re out there afraid of getting into running, start small and make it a habit and remember its all in your head, your body can do anything(unless you have medical restrictions) if your mind is set to do it.