I know, this isn’t a fun beauty/makeup/nail polish related topic, but it is about something very near and dear to my heart. Running! I have never been the athletic type. I am short… like 5 feet tall short, and not super skinny (or even just regular skinny). I’ve had some babies and I like pizza. Starting to jog/run was hard for me! When I finally figured it out and what works for me, I fell in love! After a long winter of half-hearted treadmill jogs, it was warm enough to run outside the other day and I fell in love all over again! During my run I was thinking about how far I had come in a year of running and I wanted to share my tips for success with everyone!
1. Wear the right shoes!
I think every runner will tell you need to wear the right shoes, but I often hear people say they will buy nicer shoes once they get into running more. But I don’t think you will ever really get into it if you are wearing bad shoes that will make your knees, hips and feet hurt. It took me a long time to find a pair of shoes I loved. I tried lots and lots of shoes until I found the ones that really worked great for me. Going to a good running store that really knows what they are talking about and have someone help you find the shoes for you. Don’t bother reading reviews on the internet or asking your friends which shoes they wear, go to a store and find YOUR shoes. Some stores like Nordstrom or REI have a really loose return policy so you can run on shoes a few times (or more) before you decide if they are right.
2. Find your pace
When I first started running I went with a tall, experienced friend. She told me to pick the pace and so I started running what I thought felt comfortable. She quickly asked me, “This is pretty quick, maybe lets slow it down a bit.” I had NO idea I had been running “quick” at all. But on that run when she set the pace for me, I was able to run much further without being completely exhausted. I have since built up my speed quite a bit, but her helping me figure out my pace was a game changer. Start a little slower, you will find you can run further then pick up the pace when you are getting more comfortable.
3. Learn to push yourself
I feel like part of what I had to learn in order to become a “runner” was that it just sorta hurts. You will breathe heavy, your muscles will get tired, you will get side aches. But those aren’t reasons to stop running and walk, or quit all together. You will find that your body catches up with you pretty quick and you will get stronger and stronger and you will be amazed what you are capable if you push through the pain.
4. Set a goal
The first running goal I set for myself was a 5k. My goal was to run it in a certain amount of time, and to run the whole thing without walking. I was so motivated to get out and run when I knew that I had paid the fee and was signed up to run on a certain day. So start with that, it’s almost spring. Get online and find a 5k and go do it! There is nothing like the feeling of finishing your first race. After that you can work toward running a faster 5k, or a 10k, or my very favorite, a Ragnar Relay.
5. Increase mileage slowly
I am the champion of running injuries. But from my injuries I have learned! Sometimes I am just loving my run so I keep going and going and then have run further than I was ready for and I am injured. Experts say you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent over the previous week. Nothing throws your progress off track quicker than an injury
6. Bribe yourself
I love a good bribe. If you can afford it, put $1 in a jar for every run you do, or even $1 per mile. Save that money up to buy something selfish just for you! New shoes? Pedicure? Whatever. Pick what motivates you and get to it!
7. Find what works for you!
I learned that a lot of things don’t work for me. I cannot run with people. I mean, I can occasionally. But for my every day runs I need to be alone with my music and to get in the zone. Some people love running with a friend, but I am (unfortunately) just not one of them. I also get really bored running on a treadmill or a trail. I love running through neighborhood and up and down hills. Experiment. If you feel like you are falling into a rut or getting bored, mix it up.
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