Running is my stress relief, exercise, and how I clear my mind. I’ve been running consistently for almost 10 years now, and I would be lost without it. If I am ever crabby or seem stressed out my husband will often say “go for a run, you need it” and it’s so true. A 30 minute run can completely clear my head and totally change my mood. It’s almost impossible to be mad when you’re on an adrenaline high. So often I hear people say things like “I hate running” or “running is just not for me” but I sincerely believe that anyone can be a runner. These are my tips for those people who would like to break into running.
- Find a pace that works for you. I feel like so many people have these expectations of how fast a mile should take, and if they don’t meet their expectation then running is automatically not for them. It’s just not true. IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES YOU, JUST DO IT. Sorry for shouting, but seriously people, if you find a pace that works for you then you’ll be able to get into a groove, and suddenly you won’t be focusing on running, but letting your mind wander instead.
- Make it fun. Honestly, no one wants to do things they don’t enjoy, and exercise is no different. If treadmill running is your thing, then I’m so happy for you, but for me, treadmill running is my HELL. Get outside! Not only do you get to enjoy a change of scenery, but you’ll also soak up some Vitamin D, which will help boost your mood too. Running outdoors is my absolute favorite form of exercise and changing up my route every now and then helps to keep my motivation up.
- Get good gear. Running shoes are important, so do some research, try on lots, and spend a little extra to support your feet. I’m not saying you have to go out and buy the top of the line, most expensive, newest technology pair of shoes out there, but definitely don’t get the cheapest pair you can find either. I usually buy off the sale rack at our local sporting goods store, and I prefer Brooks or Asics. I also replace my shoes every 6-9 months depending how many miles i’m putting on them. Also, if you’re going to be running outside and you live in an area that experiences winter, like I do, it’s important to get gear for the weather. Ear warmers – I use these ones, gloves, fleece lined pants, and windbreakers are all my necessary winter running accessories. And my latest favorite running accessory is my wireless headphones. OMG those are such an upgrade from what I was using previously, and they make me so happy.
- Diet it important. This one is tricky for me, because each person is so different with how nutrition affects their runs. For me, carbs give me my best runs, but I need to have protein to fall back on. My husband, on the other hand, swears by protein and actually eats very few carbs and prefers his runs that way. Just experiment with it and after a while you’ll be able to tell what works for you and what doesn’t. One thing that always makes me suck major wind on a run is alcohol. If I’ve had wine the night before a long run I can always feel it. Fuel your body with healthy things and it will run better.
I am by no means a professional in this category, but I do have a lot of years of experience running. If you are just getting into running, congratulations! I hope you find as much enjoyment in it as I do. It is such an excellent thing for the body, mind, and soul. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding running, or just simply for support and friendship in the sport. Thanks for reading!