On this Self-care Sunday I wanted to share with you some running tips for all you new runners out there, or more experienced runners who may be in a rut. This advice comes from a girl who used to HATE running in high school and couldn’t physically run for more than 5 minutes without my lungs feeling on fire. Now I run 2-4 kms multiple times per week and LOVE it.
So here are some of the things that have helped me so far:
1. Start small
Don’t pressure yourself to do a full kilometer on your first run if you’ve never kept up a steady pace for more than 10 minutes. Begin with short walking/jogging intervals, and do that 3-4 times per week for a few weeks. Once you start noticing yourself getting comfortable, start increasing how long you’re jogging for, until you eliminate the in-between walks all together.
2. Keep it slow and steady
If you’re taking big strides, you’re going too fast. Keep your feet close with each stride and maintain a consistent speed that won’t have you exhausted and out of breath after 15 minutes. Build up a solid stamina so you can speed up later on throughout your training.
3. Create a playlist
there’s nothing that can kill your momentum on a run quite like a slow song randomly coming on. Make a playlist full of upbeat songs that you vibe with and that will keep you happy throughout your whole run.
4. Track your progress
Tracking your progress will keep you from getting discouraged. I love the app MapMyRun. It saves detailed maps of all my routes, shows my pace, distance and calories for each run. Another great thing about this app is that it sends me weekly emails with stats for that week, where I can compare and see all my runs together.
5. Wear something you feel comfortable in
If its too tight, or too loose for your own comfort, it will distract you and make you want to stop. Find clothes that handle sweat well and that have the fit that you feel your best in.
6. Run the same distance for at least a week
say you’ve managed to get used to maintaining a consistent run for 1km. That’s awesome! Pat yourself on the back because thats a big accomplishment. Now you’re probably looking to hit your next goal. 3km? 5? Don’t increase too suddenly. Move up to 2km and run that same distance consistently for a week or two, once your body is comfortable with that add another km and so on.
7. Visit new places
Running the same exact route in the same area can get really boring. Keep yourself interested and excited by going to new, beautiful neighborhoods that you will enjoy looking at.
8. Always stretch – BEFORE AND AFTER
I’m a hypocrite with this one because sometimes I get lazy and I don’t stretch after my run. I know it’s a big time commitment, but I can’t stress enough how important it is – so I’m working hard on getting better at this one myself. Besides, stretching feels amazing after a good run.
I hope these tips help you achieve all your running goals, but, most importantly, I hope they help you fall in love with running.