Hi! My name is Heather and I blog at Run Eat Play about fitness, healthy living, food, family, and fun. I am very excited to be a guest blogger today because that means Amy is off running her first half marathon!
Today I am going to share some new runner tips with you. But first, a quick background of my running journey. I started running in 2009 when my grandmother asked me to run the Muddy Buddy with her.
The Muddy Buddy is a 6-7 mile race that includes taking turns running and biking.
After that race, I was hooked on running! I will say that running is not easy for me. Running is hard but that’s part of why I like it. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge.
Every step, every mile is an accomplishment. I also was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my claves (meaning that my muscles are too tight in the sheaths). This just means my calves are usually always tight and I have to stretch and foam roll a lot but it adds to the challenge.
I have run 5sk, 10ks, and 15ks. My ultimate goal was to run a half marathon but when I was training for one last summer, I was diagnosed with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Basically a bone growth on my ball and socket joint was tearing my labrum. Last July, I had hip surgery to sew two tears in the labrum and to shave my hip bone.
I spent a month on crutches and in a hip brace and did six months of physical therapy. But this year, I will be back to training for my half marathon!
Let’s get into some running pointers and tips!
The great thing about running is that you don’t really need any equipment. All you need is a good pair of running shoes. Make sure your shoes aren’t too old or they can cause you knee pain.
If you can, it’s always helpful to get fitted for running shoes at a local running store. It’s not necessary but they can help analysis your running gait and recommend the shoes best fitted for you.
That’s all you really need to run but of course there are lots of extra running goodies – a running app or a running watch is a great way to keep track of your time and miles.
Running clothes should be made of breathable fabric that wicks sweat. It’s also a good idea to invest in a good sports bra and socks.
Water bottles are great for running. You can find handheld water bottles or water bottles that strap around your waist for longer distances.
· Start Slow
If you’re new to running, it’s a great idea to start slow and work your way up to running longer distances. Trying running for one minute and walking for four minutes for about thirty minutes. Do this a few times a week and then slowly increase your running time and decrease your walking time.
The Couch to 5k app is also a great place to get started. Or find a Walk to Run group in your area. A lot of running stores offer running groups.
· Warming-Up and Cooling Down
It’s always a good idea to warm up and cool down when running. For a warm-up it’s important to do dynamic exercises that will get your body ready for running – squats, lunges, fast walking, etc.
Cooling down is a great way to incorporate some static stretching by holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Stretch your quads, hamstrings, IT band, etc. Foam rolling is also great to do after your run. This loosens up the knots in your muscles and helps your recovery.
· Stay Hydrated
It’s important to drink water before and after running. If you are running a shorter distance, you may not need to drink any water while running. As long as you’re hydrated properly before your run, you should be good to go!
If you start to run longer distances, you can bring a hand held water bottle, a water belt, or if you’re running outside, plan your route so you pass by a water fountain!
· Sign up for a Race
Once you can run comfortably for 30 minutes, it’s a great idea to sign up for a 5k race. The 5k is a popular distance and a fun race. You can run with family or friends or just run by yourself.
Even if you aren’t the fastest, a race is a great way to have fun with running and feel accomplished. Find a race in your area that you would enjoy running.
You can even strive for a longer distance race – 10ks, a half marathon, or even a marathon!
· Have Fun!
The most important thing about running is to have fun! If you hate it, you’re not going to enjoy doing it. Of course, running is hard work but think if how accomplished you’ll feel after every step and every mile!
Running with friends or a running group can also help keep running fun!
Color runs are always a fun race:
Good luck to Amy, running her first half marathon! Can’t wait to hear all about it!