Running Tips

Since my running has taken a backseat to the holidays, I thought there may be some of you out there who were also recovering from a long hiatus. If this is the case, follow these running tips to get back to what you love or if you’re interested in launching in to this wonderful form of exercise.

  1. Accept the challenge. Whether you are new to running or just out of practice, accept that this form of exercise will be hard. As the saying goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
  2. Shoot for 8-15 miles per week. If you are just starting out, work your way up to this goal, but for those of us who have been slaves to the pavement, make this mileage each week. No excuses.
  3. Think in terms of time (if you’re starting out). Although miles are great for those training for long runs, if you’re just getting started, try to measure in terms of minutes. 10 minutes seems a lot less intimidating than 1 mile.
  4. Invest in good shoes. Don’t think you can get away with running in any old pair of sneakers. Not sure what shoes are right for you? Visit any fitness store (Foot Locker, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.) and have an attendant help you out.
  5. Take the talk test. When you first start running, don’t go to hard. Of course you’ll be breathing harder than usual, but you should be able to carry on a light conversation with someone while you’re running. Anything less means you’re pushing yourself too hard. Translation: burn out.
  6. Don’t starve yourself. For goodness sake, listen to your body! Running is one of the hardest forms of exercise and requires a lot of stamina and strength, so if you’re stomach is growling, eat! Just be sure to load up on protein, good-for-you carbs and healthy fats. You’ll need your fuel.
  7. Relax. When running, do a body check. Are you clenching your jaw? Are your shoulders hunched over? If so, slow down and loosen up.
  8. Don’t crush the egg. Just as you shouldn’t tighten your shoulders, you should avoid clenching your fists. Run with them cupped, but not tight.
  9. Make time. One of the biggest problems I have with working out is making time for it. There are so many times I’m tempted to go straight home and hit the couch, but I always remember that time 10 minutes after my run when the endorphins kick in. Trust me when I say it’s worth making time for.
  10. Be safe. If you’re going to be an outdoor running, be aware of your surroundings. For instance, running on the road? Be sure to run against traffic. Running on a trail? Watch for snakes and other animals that may commonly dwell in the area. To really be safe, pick up one of these bad boys and slip it on every time you go out for a run.

For more tips, visit this Women’s Health Mag page.

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4 thoughts on “Running Tips

  1. I’ve been running regularly for…let me think…more than 23 years now, averaging between five and seven miles a day. I converted to a treadmill about 10 years ago because I was regularly straining my calf muscles when running uphill on pavement (I have flat feet); no more calf muscle problems…and, in fact, on those occasions when I’m away and don’t have access to a treadmill, I haven’t had any problems with calf strains when forced to run on paved surfaces…so I guess I’ve made some progress.

    While your list of tips seems quite solid to me I think #2 is a kind of first of equals; anyone getting into this really needs, I think, to commit to the idea that this (or some form of cardio exercise) is going to be a prioritized part of daily life. It needs to be seen as something that has to be fit in each day (or every other day, or whatever the routine schedule calls for), just as is the case with any other firm commitment. I really think it’s the appropriate mindset that will dictate the success or failure of any “get in shape” regimen.

    • Oh I completely agree. I used to think I had to “find time” to run, but the more I do it, the more I realize that it should be something automatic (like brushing my teeth). I once read on http://www.pbfingers.com that it takes around two weeks of doing something before it effectively becomes part of your routine. Here’s to trying!

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