First and foremost, let’s be clear – I have a love hate relationship with running and a full-on loving relationship with pizza. Seriously, I could eat pizza every day of my life…well if calories didn’t count I totally would. Like pizza, I have always had a craving for running. It wasn’t until I ran my first 5K in 2009 that I really begin to love the sport.
I am not sure whether it it is my competitive side that makes me want to run more or if it is the fact that the more I run the more pizza I can have without feeling guilty. Regardless, running takes practice and consistency. It’s hard work.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever applied to my life was to “just start”. We often get caught up thinking about what we want to do next, but never putting our dreams into action. Also thinking we must have all the right gear and be perfect at the sport before we jump into a race or competition. That’s not true. Just start – no one will ever be perfect the first time so you have to begin somewhere.
After running in my first race I was hooked. It gave me confidence to do more. Practice and improve. It gave me the encouragement to be the best I could be. Not to mention, running has some pretty great health benefits too. I eventually went on to train for a half marathon in college. Crazy to think back on that time in my life!
When I started I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just jumped in blind – fun right!?! So, I thought I would share some basic tips from my own personal research and training experience that could help beginners or even those that want to become more serious in their practice to push themselves to – just start!
- Hydrate all day – I have found that when I am planning to run for any period of time, whether its a 15 minute run or long distance, your hydration is key. Drinking lots of water throughout the day helps nourish the muscles and gives the body fuel to push through any run.
- Run in the morning – A.M. runs for me are more successful in my opinion. I don’t have the weight of the day holding me back and the weather is usually much cooler in the A.M. Whew!
- Get a fitness band – I cannot say it enough, I love my fitness band. This helps me keep track of the amount of activity I get in a day. It also fuels my competitive side. My fiance and I always try to get more steps than the other in a day. (I usually try to go all out to win 🙂 ) The band also gives me daily goals and tells me when I have been sitting for too long. And if you want some more in-depth stats, most fitness bands can even track your sleeping habits – way cool.
- Download a running app – I have tried a LOT of different running apps and there are a few that I have kept around over the years. The first is Nike Running. The look and feel of the app is perfect in my eyes. I can connect with friends and setup personal challenges. Not to mention, it totals up the miles and stats ran over a lifetime of using the app to show progress – you will be amazed by the growth! Another one I would recommend for beginners is the Couch to 5K app. This is one I resort to when I get in a slump. It’s a kick starter that gives me motivation to get back in the game. Keep it on hand as it’s not just for beginners, but for everyone.
- Stretch and Repeat – running takes practice and with that your muscles get sore and tired, but don’t give up. Stretch your muscles and repeat. It’s important to be consistent when running so that you can maintain your endurance level and build yourself up.
I hope that these 5 tips gave you some encouragement to – just start! Also check out my earlier post on the 5 Benefits of Morning Walks.
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