Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"I was running...!"

My alternative title for this blog post is, "Running Tips for Those That Suck at Running or Hate It."

I am, by no means, an expert at running. I don't know anything about technique, I don't run marathons....I've only been consistently running for the last year or so. However, I've gone from hardly being able to run a mile (in fact, I remember in high school walking the straights and running the curves when having to run the mile on the track) to running my first 10k next month. So, here goes:

1.) Don't worry about your time. There was a time there when I was ashamed at my 10 minute miles. But you know what? I've decided that I'm proud of myself for just running at ALL, and who cares if my miles take 10 minutes? Now that I've been running quite a bit I have started to pay attention to my time when I'm running distances that are comfortable to me. But don't let long miles discourage you!

2.) Breathe, Breathe, Breathe. When I first started running I would hold my breath...which is a very bad idea! Then wonder why I was always about to pass out. I would suggest trying very hard to pace your breath into as long, even breathes as you can get. Sometimes when I get a side stitch or cramp in my stomach I'll try to breath quicker to push it out, but I'm always trying to breath as evenly as possible. It may feel uncomfortable at first but I think it really helps to stabilize you.

3.) Don't worry about form. Just try to keep your pace steady (this is important! Don't start too fast) and even.

4.) Get a good playlist. If you're not a music listener, then bypass this one. But I'm constantly changing my playlist for new music that will motivate me. I'm all about the fast, dance/club music. Current sample from my playlist...

Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz
Power - Kanye West (this is a GREAT running song, perfect beat for it)
Til the End of the World - Britney
If - Janet Jackson
More - Usher

5.) Get good gear! I bought some good shoes this winter (Asics), and a few good tank tops by Nike and Under Armour. No, you don't need those fancy Lululemon pants (which must be made of gold for the way people talk about them). Just some good tanks and comfortable pants. I'm a fan of running in spandex tights, long ones in winter and mid-length when it's warmer. I've been known to work out in cotton wife beaters that I've cut up for comfort, which is not only kind of tacky but can get really sweaty. I really like Nike's Dri-Fit tanks.

6.) Be very proud of yourself. Running, for some people, will never feel good and will never come easy. I don't think it's for everyone, and I think you have to be realistic about what your body can comfortably do. I have found that running gets easier the more I do it (like with anything), and the more I do it and get more comfortable running longer distances, the more I really enjoy it. So hang in there and push through the cramps and side aches and body aches and fatigue! It's all mental anyway, right?




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