Some Tips For New Runners:
1. Make sure you get the right running shoes for you.
There are so many types and brands of shoes that at times the number of choices can be overwhelming. But there are just as many types of feet. If you are having any problems with foot or lower leg pain it could be because your shoes don't match your biomechanical needs. Discussing your foot needs and issues with a shoe expert can steer you away from injury and into a long happy running career.
2. Follow a program.
Especially if you're excited to get running, or if you've signed up for a race that's coming up quickly, it's easy to do too much too soon. Jumping right into running after an injury, time off, or as a beginner can also lead to potential injuries. There are plenty of solid programs for new runners that ease you into the miles needed in order to fulfill any goal. "Couch to 5k" is one of the most commonly-followed plans for new runners. Jeff Galloway's Training plans (easily found on Google) are great for a walk/run plan for distances up to the marathon.
3. Pay attention to how you feel.
Runners are notorious for trying to "run through" a nagging pain or strain, but that strategy often ends in significant injury. Whether you are training by mileage, time, or by whenever you can get out the door, pay attention to the following factors: how you feel after a run, your breathing rate during a run, and any pain that doesn't go away. If you find yourself more tired than usual or than expected after a run, you may need a day off. If your breathing feels strained (more than usual or expected) during a run, you may need to slow the pace. Also, if there is any small pain that lasts longer then a few days, you may need to address the root cause, which may be related to core strength or muscle imbalances. See a physical therapist or other medical professional in order to determine the cause of nagging pains.
Staying Motivated in the Winter
That dreaded beep beep beep of the alarm wakes you up from a cozy slumber. The last thing you want to do is get out of your warm, comfortable bed, bundle up and face the frigid cold air that waits outside. Icicles on the windows and the white frosting on the ground are a brutal reminder that Mother Nature is relentless and winter is far from being over. “You could just sleep in instead…” an inner voice coaxes, trying desperately to convince you that you’ll be much happier if you just close those eyes… But moaning and groaning, you somehow tune out that inner voice and crawl out of bed. On goes the first layer, then the second, third, hat, gloves, and what seems like eons later, your running shoes. Feeling like the abominable snowman, you open the door, get blasted by the cold air and before you have the chance to change your mind, you start your watch and start moving those feet. A few minutes in, the sleepiness starts to fade away and your body and mind finally start to wake up. You’re now able to process and appreciate the scenery around you. You feel the sun’s warmth as it rises above the trees, the fresh air filling up your lunges, and you listen to the crunch of the snow beneath your feet amidst the silence of a world still asleep. As you warm up, you notice your legs are able to move faster and faster and faster. Time clicks by but you don’t notice. You feel free, invincible. There is a hint of a smile on your face as you quietly tell that inner voice, “See, I knew it was a good idea to run this morning.”
Sometimes the hardest part about going for a run is getting out in the first place, especially in the dead of winter. To help you with that task, here are a few suggestion to liven up your winter runs:
1. Run with a friend. Running is always more fun with a friend, especially in the winter. It’s a great way to distract yourself from the cold weather. Or at least you have someone to complain with! It will also keep you accountable; if you know Sam is waiting for you at the trailhead at 6:30, you may be more likely to show up yourself. *hint: make sure it’s a friend you care about.
2. Spike up. One of the big downers of winter is the limitations it puts on where you can run. It can be difficult (and very frustrating) trying to run on trails that are snow covered, slippery and icy. Or at least that was the case until Yaktrak’s were invented! Yaktrak’s are an ice traction device that attach to the bottom of your running shoes. The combination of their removable spikes and steel coils provide durable traction that allow you to run on your favorite trails any time of the year! So say goodbye to the bike path you’ve been running on for too many days in a row now and change up your scenery. Stop by our store on 150 E Harmony Road to check them out!
3. Create a new playlist and bring your ipod along on a run. Have a mix of slower and faster songs and change your pace based on the tempo of the song you’re currently listening to. Or make a playlist of your favorite songs and jam out as you run. Listening to familiar songs always puts me in a good mood and makes the run go by faster.
4. Get rid of your old cotton. Treat yourself to some quality running winter gear. Trust me, it’s worth the investment. Once you try wearing moisture wicking layers or jackets with good ventilation, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing out on all these years. It’s a good motivator too-you need an excuse to wear them!
5. Sign up for a race. 5k, 10k, your first marathon or whatever distance suits you. In addition, write down some goals you have for the next few months and keep it someplace you will easily see in the morning--on your dresser, on the mirror in your bathroom, etc. It’s a great way to stay focused and remind yourself that while it can be long, it is a rewarding process. Running in the winter can be tough but there are definitely ways to make it more exciting and it’s totally worth it. Who knows what great run you might be missing out on by skipping and there’s nothing more satisfying than being fit and ready to race when Spring finally rolls around.
Happy running : )