So you want to run huh? I know what you are thinking – you not a runner. That however, is far from true. Everyone is a runner! You just have to learn your body. I decided to run because I wanted to change how I looked. Nevertheless, it takes more than running to train for a race. Without further ado, here are my tips:
1) Stretch, stretch and more stretching
Chile, I neglected the heck out of stretching and ended up with shin splints! You do not want to experience that pain. I felt like my legs were on fire and nothing I did helped it! I got plenty of physical therapy to get me through, but it slowed my training. Very well has more suggestions on how to prevent them, but as far as I know, stretching and hydration before a run helps a great deal.
2) Cross train
Races are not run by running alone. You will need to do other training in other to build strength to run. But be careful! You do not want to bulk up, it will only slow you down. Dance, Yoga, Body pump, Pilates, Tai chi and spin are great cross training workouts. Refer to a training calendar (like this one) to aid you in your training plan. Check out your local gym for classes. Remember, don’t increase mileage suddenly as you risk shin splints!
3) Get the right sneaker
I used to think that any sneaker will do, but this will mess you up! We all have gaits when we walk or run. Some of us run more to the outside of our shoes, some to the inside and some wear out our shoes neutrally. Don’t believe me? Grab some old shoes that you own, and look at the bottom. You will see your gait based on the worn out part of your shoe soles. It is imperative, that you buy a sneaker tailored to your needs to avoid injury. Find a proper running shop (I shopped here) and find youself a good sneaker. Best bet, buy a size bigger for running. You don’t want black toenails.
And while we are talking about toenails…
4) Clip your toenails
OMG! I wish someone would have told me that. I decided to increase my mileage one day and my toenails had a little length on it. Well, I bruised the heck out of them! So to avoid unsightly black toes, get them trimmed, will ya?
5) Stay hydrated
I cannot stress how important it is. You do not want to over hydrate before a race. Make sure you drink plenty of water the week before the race and then as needed on the day of. Some sites recommend against having a water pack on your person during the race because it can slow your progress. However, I am a person that needs a sip regularly, so I invested in dolfin pack. It is lightweight backpack. I recommended it because you do not have to depend on hydration stations.
6) Wear compression socks
Unless you want swollen legs with colors! I got some nasty varicose veins from running and I wish someone told me to wear them beforehand. It was unsexy! Be sure to invest in some good ones (like the ones listed here) as the can work to keep you warm and spread your progress evenly.
7) Speaking of running gear, be sure you stay away from cotton! It can lead to chafing. Lycra is your friend! Otherwise, suffer the consequences. You want something that is breathable and dries fast.
8) Avoid chafing
You may want to invest in Body Glide for chafing. Great for bra lines, nipples thighs and anywhere else that make create a fire while running! You will thank me later!
9) Find food that is right for you
Fueling your body before running is important. Some swear on bananas and toast, while others suggest eating nuts or nut butter before running. But be careful, do what is right for you. Test out small carb snacks before running. Once you find something good, still to it! Last thing you need is runner’s diarrhea. Make sure you eat carbs before running and protein afterward. I like GU and/or sport beans while running. They help manage energy and electrolytes during your run. Others swear by sports drinks. Personally, I do not like them. However, it doesn’t hurt to try it during a practice run and see how it works with you. Check out Runner’s world for meal tips.
*Tip: Stay away from excess fiber, coffee and milk, unless you have before.
10) Invest in a Gym boss
I know you are thinking, what is that? Gymboss is an interval training tool that will help you with running, rest and recovery periods. It retails at about $20 but if you are cash strapped, you can download the app on your phone. Check it out at: Gymboss.com. Pick it up on Amazon.
Bonus tip: I would look up a local running club. They can give you resources that are invaluable for your run. I learn a lot of these tips via Team In Training, however, they want you run for charity. While running for a cancer cure is great, I found that the goals were a little high for me.
Let me know your thoughts! Please share and subscribe!