Thursday, January 5, 2017

What You Need To Know To Become A Runner

So you want to start running, but you don't know where to start? Well you've come to the right place... so keep reading....

I honestly don't remember when I started running. I really don't. But I believe my first race was maybe early 2000s? What I do remember is wanting to run so bad, but I just didn't know how to start. So I had a friend tell me to do intervals on the treadmill, and that's exactly what I did, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Shoes
My first piece of advice would be if you have the ability to get to a local running store, go get yourself fitted for proper shoes. NO, you don't have to spend a lot of money on super expensive shoes. But, it does help to know if you need a neutral shoe, or if you have some type of pronation. If you don't have access to a store, you can find guides online to help you try to figure out which shoe you need. (Runner's World Shoe Finder) .... once you have your shoes... check out some

Optional Running Gear

The reason I say the gear is optional  is because you don't have to have fancy running gear gadgets to be able to run. However, that being said, if you ever received a rub burn on a run which I have numerous times you will seek out appropriate running gear. If you've been anywhere near me you know that I love my Skirt Sports. I feel comfortable in it. I like that it covers all of my parts that I want covered. And I especially love the pockets. I will not run without my phone. If I'm outside I run with it for safety. If I'm at the gym, it's usually when I need to be able to be reached because of my son or my family. So I always have my phone. If you're interested in checking out Skirt Sports, you can check out out my affiliate link here. Use code MGR20 and save 20% (not applicable to sales where discounts aren't allowed). I also am a big fan of compression. And we all know that I love my Zensah compression sleeves. In addition to sleeves, they also make a lot of other compression gear which I also love. You can use this affiliate link and save 10% at Zensah.com. No you don't have to have fancy running clothes. However if you are serious about running, I do suggest you get some type of running apparel to make your runs more comfortable.

I'm a numbers girl. Always have been and probably always will be. The irony is that I can't do math. Please don't ask me to add subtract divide or multiply anything. But I've always wanted to know my distance and/or pace. So my go-to watch is my Garmin. I also have a tom-tom which is also a great watch. But I am just a Garmin girl. And I have used several models, and still have several models. I am currently using the Garmin 35 because I also like the step tracker and other functions. .

But if you don't have a running watch. There are lots of free apps that you can get on your phone. I also use MapMyRun from time to time. But there are several different free apps if you want to know your distance and/or pace. Obviously you don't have to have these things to run, but it is nice to see improvements along the way. Having a starting point is a great way to do that.

Now, The Actual Running Part 

I started running by doing intervals. For instance, maybe I would repeat walk 2 minutes run 30 seconds for one workout one day. No, I didn't have a specific plan. I would just keep taking away time from the walking and adding time to the running as I added on more runs. Once I was able to run a minute walk a minute I would start increasing. Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute and so forth. Then I would run a mile, walk a quarter of a mile. So intervals really helped me. And when I started running again after I had Lil Man, I actually used a couch to 5K app on my phone. It's basically the same principles of interval training. And I've used the same principle after coming back from injury or from time off from running. It comes down to personal preference how many times a week you choose to run.

Find Your Running Vibe 

Some people truly want to run solo. It's their alone time - their me time. If that's your thing then go for it. But running with a group also has many advantages. I actually like a combination of running by myself and running with others. It gives me the best of both worlds. And for any newbie runner who is scared to go on a group run, don't be. You'll be surprised to find that there are others out there with your similar pace and distance. Here in Harrisburg, we have a local crazy running group called the River Runners. We are a very diverse group of runners, and we welcome runners of all abilities. So I encourage you to find your own running vibe, and don't let fear stop you from stepping out there and doing your thing.

Safety

I would like to talk for a brief moment about safety. I run with pepper spray, and my tiger lady. Always be aware of your surroundings and NO loud music where you can't hear cars and/or people. Run against traffic. It's best to run without headphones, but if you do run with them make sure you are able to hear things around you. And make sure you can be seen. Wear reflectors, bright clothing, flashing lights - whatever is needed so that others can see you.

Listen To Your Body - Start Slow and Build Base 

Yep it can hurt - especially when you are doing something new. Your joints and muscles and everything has to get used to the activity. But if you feel extremely sore or pain, then back off. You are probably doing too much too soon. I personally have a tendency to try to do too much too fast. It's best to gradually build your mileage. I'm not going to give you a magic number. I'm not an expert. Some say 10% increase. Some say 20% or more is safe. I say.... listen to your body and be smart

Running Isn't Just About Running 

Say what? Yes, I am a firm believer in cross-training. Cross-training can be biking, spin class, elliptical, rowing machine, walking. yoga, strength training and the list goes on and on and on and on. Doing those exercises can actually help you with running.

Have Fun And Don't Compare

Last but not least, have fun! That's right - have fun! It's supposed to be fun. I have found that when running has stopped being fun for me is when I have allowed myself to compare myself with others. A mile is a mile is a mile - regardless of the time that it takes you to get there.

Just RUN! 

Follow your dreams friends.. I'm working hard on following mine. If you have any questions or would like to add to this post, please comment below.

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3 comments:

  1. Amy...I so needed to read this. I've mentioned to you before that I would like to become a runner. I don't have a treadmill. Could I start the intervals on my elliptical? April Gernaat (commented as anonymous because I couldn't figure out the other options. 😖)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The elliptical would help with overall fitness. But running is what will get you running. You can do intervals outside or on a track or even an indoor track. So you don't have to have a treadmill.

      Delete
  2. This is a great how-to post! And a good reminder of what we all need to do when we're struggling.

    ReplyDelete

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