I’ve said it all when it comes to running:
- “I can’t run.”
- “Running is the wooooorst.”
- “I’m not a runner.”
- “I will only run if someone is trying to attack me.”
And now, I’m hooked to this totally addictive thing called running. Race season is here ladies, and I’d like to encourage you to join me on this exhilarating, yet bumpy ride.
About one year ago, my sister-in-law urged me to run my first 5k on my 35th birthday. I was reluctant to say the least. I did my best (Ok, I could have done a lot more) to train and work up to those three grueling miles. The big day came – the Flint Superhero 5K. My family of four dressed up as Supermen, and Superwomen of course. I hated every single second of it. It was brutal. It felt like there was blood in my throat and I didn’t feel my toes until after the race was over. But, I finished the thing running.
Then somehow, immediately after the race, I was hooked. I wanted to crush that pain and misery. From there, I signed up for three more 5Ks, a 10k, and finally, a half marathon.
Here’s the deal. I am a very average athlete. Anyone can do this. These races build your confidence and allow you to do them with friends and family. Oh, and many of them have beer after. No-brainer. Here are my top 10 tips to get you started:
- Start slow – Begin by jogging and walking using intervals. Only add a half mile or full mile at a time to prevent injuries or burnout. Go on Pinterest and search for some good Couch-to-5ks.
- Get fitted for shoes – Running shoes with support make a difference. Trust me. Head to Bauman’s and they will treat you well.
- Nutrition– Sorry ladies, you don’t need to carb-load unless you’re running for over an hour. Typically, your body won’t need the extra carbs unless you’re planning on a 10k. So, just focus on chugging that water.
- Pacing – I’m not sure if I’ll ever learn this. Don’t let the adrenaline put you into high-gear. Start slow and just maintain that pace.
- Give your body rest – Only run about 3-4 times per week. This was another mistake I made. Your body needs the chance to recharge.
- Music – I recommend Spotify because you can create your own playlist to keep pushing you through the miles.
- Use apps or your sports watch – I use MapMyRun, but any will do just fine. These allow you to keep track of all of your runs and mileage.
- Get outside – Running outside is the best (not up for debate here) because you get to switch up routes, attack some hills, soak in some scenery, and rejuvenate that soul of yours.
- Get a running buddy or group– You don’t necessarily have to run with someone, just get a friend who will hold you accountable. I may join CrimFit Training this year so the running experts can push me.
- Cross-train and strength-train – Do anything else on your off-days: yoga, bike, swim, pilates, etc. This will serve your body well.
There are a couple of things that may surprise you…
- Runner’s trots- I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. They are dreadful and Imodium has become my best friend. TMI- sorry, not sorry.
- Chaffing – You may get blisters and/or chaffing on some unusual places. Let’s just say I never thought I’d be pasting Glide all over my boobs.
- A love for running – You may learn to love this sport and you might just be good at it. I’m not, but hey, you could be.
Here is a schedule of upcoming races in our area. I know it’s hard, but you will not regret it – I promise. Let’s hit the pavement.
What are some of your tips for new runners?