Tips for when learning to run


image via here

so i took up running. more specifically i've been trying to take up running for the past few years. it's been one of those on the wagon, off the wagon, behind the wagon, watch the wagon roll by kind of processes. but this time, i think i've finally got in front of this wagon. 
I should preface this post by saying that i do not "look" like a runner, i'm wiggily and giggily in all the wrong places, and i may not be able to kill that 5k just yet in record time, but by golly i think i've figured out what works and i've really come to like how it makes me feel.

to anyone thinking of starting out or trying running, here are some tips i've learned.

be ok with sucking - the fear of just looking stupid stopped me soooooooo many times. there is nothing attractive or remotely cute about learning to run. you feel crooked, out of sync, you wheeze more than you ever want to admit, but you gotta get through that. realize that everyone sucked at some point. just own that sucking, then suck it up and spit it out, as you stomp all over it because you're awesomesauce and your doing it.

get good music - literally flood your iPod or music devise with as much angry loud music as you can that makes you wanna move. pop those earbuds in and get that playlist behind you, and you'll find it gives you spikes of extra energy. i personally found that when i hit a really good song it jolted me into pushing myself harder, running faster and basically created my own style of interval running, which over time has greatly improved my stamina and endurance. 

start small - baby steps. never be ashamed of a good walk/run. give your body time to be open to new changes. really listen to your body. if you over do it and hurt yourself you'll feel deflated.
image via here

look straight ahead and say something positive - whether your run outside or in a gym, don't look around. don't look down. don't focus on anything but a point ahead of you and as you run listen to your breathing and repeat to yourself " i can do this" or "watch me do this" (in your head perhaps). always repeat something positive and narrow in on that thing ahead and run like you just have to go grab it.

invest in good shoes - this point is pretty straight forward, but good shoes can change your performance, a lot. make sure to invest in ones that have a lot of built in support to help support your legs, knees, ankles as you begin to learn to run.

relax your upper body - this was hard for me to do at first, but over time remind yourself to take long deep breaths and relax your arms and chest. once i could do that it seriously helped me avoid having my usual side cramps that slowed me down or stopped me for a stretch or two. 

protein and water - let me start by saying that i drink a glass of water before i go to the gym, and then a few sips here and there throughout my workout. for me personally, i have found that drinking a bottle of water during my short runs has always lead to cramping. now, this is my own experience and everyone is different, so be sure to listen to your body and hydrate as you need it. one of the things that was hard to deal with in the beginning was the leg stiffness the following day, or even two days after was (and sometimes is still) brutal. i found that eating healthy protein after my run and really upping my amount of water intake throughout the day has really helped my recovery time.

one foot after another - lastly, just remember that all it takes is putting one foot after another. you got this.

and if you want a good motivational video to inspire you to try running or anything new, make sure you watch this! i click on it anytime need a good kick start to get me going.


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