Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday 5 - Running Tips for new runners

It's Friday and that means it's time to link up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia as well as a bunch of other awesome bloggers for the Friday 5!  This week's theme is running tips.

I'm not a running coach or any way involved in the medical field, so I'm not providing tips related to running form, mechanics, or any physical issues.  Instead, I'm going to talk about things I've learned along my journey that have made it easier for me.  Hopefully, they might make things easier for you too if you're starting to run.

1. Research - The good thing about living in the internet age is that there is so much information out there.  It is definitely worth reading that information to obtain pointers on things like form, training plans, how to progress your running, the right shoes, etc.  But the downside of the internet is that there is a lot of information out there and not all of it is accurate.  Or it may be technically accurate but it may not fit you.  Remember to look at things with a critical eye to see if the advice works for you and if it's from a reputable source.  I love the beginner pages on Runner's World as a good starting point.

2. There will be ups and downs and that's ok.  I really thought that once you were a "real runner," running would level out and it would be enjoyable all the time.  But just like most things in life, there will be ups and downs.  There's nothing wrong with that and that may indicate it's a good time to shake things up by running with friends, joining a new group, adding new music to your play list, doing more cross training instead of running, or even just getting new shoes to make your run exciting. And if running is something you enjoy, just have faith that the enjoyment will eventually come back.  Here is a great blog post from runladylike about dealing with the down points. 

The Lawyer's Have Heart 10k was a low for me this year but I'm back on an up now

3.  Food and rest - When I first got into running, I was so excited about it and didn't really think about a healthy lifestyle in a holistic way.  But it's important to realize that getting into running might necessitate other lifestyle changes.  You'll begin to think about food as fuel and you need to fuel your body with high quality food.  You also need to make sure you get enough rest.  Your body isn't going to be able to perform well without those things.

4.  No comparisons - This one is hard to do but remember that your race is your own and your journey is your own.  It can be discouraging if you keep comparing yourself to other people.  But just remember that you're doing something good for yourself and that should include being kind to yourself in your thoughts too.  This will make running more enjoyable and more sustainable for the long haul.

5.  Remember your motivation - This is something that really helps me through the down periods in my running. I started running to work on leading a healthier lifestyle.  So my main goal is to just make sure I'm being more active.  And every time I step out the door to go on a run, it furthers that goal.  It doesn't matter if I'm slow, if I walk more than planned, if I struggle with the heat, I just have to remember that it all still helps me be healthier and happier!  Your motivations are your own and everyone has different motivations that keep them going. Just keep yours in mind.

Seeing the beautiful areas around here are part of my motivation too, and I can do that no matter how slow I am!

So those are my 5 tips to help out with running and keeping it sustainable for the long term.  If you have any tips to help out with this, I'd love to hear them.  And I hope you all have a great weekend as well!