I’ve seen so many people post about their “run-a-versary” but honestly I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone when I started running. Even still, I feel as though I’ve learned a lot within the past year and I wanted to pass along my top 5 mistakes lessons I’ve learned in my first year of running:
So, you’ve decided you want to try this whole “running” thing. You’ve laced up your shoes and took your first steps. Way to Go! As you get into running more and more you will realize there is lots to learn!
The “I am not a REAL runner” mantra: You know…only those people who are training for a marathon are the “real runners”. Those people who can run really fast or who can go really far are the real runners. Not me. Excuse me…do you run more than you walk? Do you go a little bit farther every time? Then you are a runner. End of discussion.
Not wearing proper shoes. Make sure you go to a running store (Floridians..FitNiche is simply amazing) and get a proper fit. Ensure you know their return policy in case you need it. You will most likely increase your mileage as you get into your new passion and your shoes will make all the difference.
2A. For my fellow ladies. Get fitted for and invest in a really good sports bra. Trust me on this.
Hydration and good nutrition everyday are key. Believe me, no one was more bummed than I was to learn that sweets and beer do not count as “carb loading”. Your runs will be easier when you take care of your body and what fuels it. Also, hydration is so important, especially if you are running in the summer. At least 10 glasses of water every day, and I would argue that at least one of those glasses should have an electrolyte replenishing drink if you are going for a long run the next day or just came from one.
Better tasting than Gatorade with lots of nutrition to help you put back what your workout took out.
EAT/DRINK PROTEIN SOON AFTER A RUN. This seems logical, but let me explain. I would get debilitating, pounding headaches after long runs. I would drink water like crazy, but I was never really hungry so I would wait a few hours after my run to eat something. Big mistake. If you are going for a long run, have something to eat very soon after. Go for something with a nice mix of carbs and protein. Once I started having a protein drink 10 minutes after my long run, my headaches completely vanished.
Any excuse to have chocolate is all right in my book.
Find a running buddy. Usually I run alone, happily listening to music, a podcast or just the thoughts in my head. However this can get lonely! The best runs I’ve had are the ones with other runners. The time goes by faster because you are chatting and, if you run with someone just a bit faster than you, your pace will ultimately improve. Plus you can ask all sorts of running questions because if there is one thing other runners love to talk about, it is running.
Yep, she counts as a running buddy, our conversations are hilarious!
Did I miss anything? Please give me one piece of advice you’d give a new runner!!
For Christmas my family gave into my new running obsession and gave me some pretty nice new running gear. My husband gave me a new Garmin Forerunner GPS watch and my parents gave me CEP Compression Sleeves for my calves. As a new runner I was slightly confused as to what these two items would bring to my run, so I tried them out this week!
The Garmin was the new toy I was most excited about (I LOVE gadgets) but also most nervous that it was a want vs a need. However I wore it on both my short run on Thursday and my long run today. I have to say it is pretty awesome! I have a running app on my phone (Endomondo, which is fantastic, BTW) and the app tells me how far I’ve gone and my pace. However there were times on both runs where I didn’t have my ear buds in (Thursday munchkin accompanied me in her stroller and on Saturday a fellow runner and I had a great conversation for a few miles) and the Garmin continued to update my progress. No digging in the stroller or the SpiBelt for the phone! Whoo hoo! Additionally the Garmin is very convenient, just on my wrist so I could check it frequently and easily, to ensure my pace was neither too fast or too slow. This was the element I found most useful on the long run. Ensuring the correct pacing I was able to finish strong on those last few miles.
The CEP Compression sleeves are made to help your legs recover faster, especially after long runs. Many runners wear them while running, but living in the oppressive heat that is Florida, I would rather not have more clothing on my body than necessary. So, after I got home and out of the shower today, I put the sleeves on. There was a bit of confusion as I wasn’t sure exactly how to wear them, but a brief Google image search had me on the right path. I wore them for about 2 hours and my legs felt great! No soreness, no aches. When they were removed, guess what? The aches and slight pain that is so familiar after a long run hit my legs. It was unbelievable that these sleeves could make that much of a difference, but they do!! Next time I am going to wear them all day, if possible, after a long run.
So my final thoughts are if you can get these two pieces of running gear, do it! The Garmin will really help maintain your speed and the compression sleeves will make your legs feel much better after that long run. The fun side effect with this type of running gear, you really start to feel like a true runner!!
Enjoy the Run!
Did Santa bring you any new fun running gear? How are you liking it?