July 20, 2015

my first [running] race & tips for new runners

i ran my first race the other day!  i did a moderate 5km with a good friend, & b ran his first 10k.  i am not a strong runner, so this was a big achievement for me.  and, to be honest, it felt good!

if you want to start running, here are a few tips to get you started:

- good shoes make all the difference.  they don't need to be expensive or fancy, just comfortable & supportive. if you visit your local running shop, most do gait analysis so they can find the best shoe for you.

- the fancy clothes and tools are nice, but not required.  sure, they help. but it's probably not worth investing that much money until you know that running is something that you love.

- stay hydrated, but don't drink too much water.  of course you should drink some water if you are thirsty, but don't overdo it. too much water can give you a stitch (cramp) in your side.

- really focus on your breathing.  the best tip i read on this was to take deep belly breathes. to make this easier for myself, i inhale for 4 "steps", and then exhale for 4.

- walking breaks are ok.  i still cannot run continuously so i do intervals, and i'm ok with that!  i started off doing 30 seconds of running & 90 seconds of walking, and slowly increased the running while decreasing the walking.

- find a pace that you are comfortable with.  everyone runs at different speeds.  slower doesn't mean you are worse, or any less of a runner.  finding a pace you are comfortable with will allow you to run further & find the activity more enjoyable.

- find your motivation.  is there a race you've always wanted to do?  sign up! having a deadline may help get you out & running.  i found a fun run was the perfect intro to running a race.  there was a lot less pressure to perform well & more of a focus on having a good time.

- if you don't like running alone, look into some of the free running groups that exist.  the running room offers a free run club that hosts group runs on wednesdays & sundays. or find a running buddy. they keep you going when you just feel like sitting on the couch.

- having trouble finding the motivation to get out running? find a postcast or a wicked play list that you only listen to when running (& stick to only listening when you run).  wanting to hear more will motivate you to get outside & run.

but most importantly, have fun with it. don't measure yourself against others & don't put too much pressure on yourself. find what is comfortable & enjoy the run!

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