Top Ten Tips
Since fall 2009 I have learned a LOT about what works for me when I run. Being a professionally trained dancer (however out of practice), I think I’ve always had an athletic mind, but I dare say I’m an athlete now…! As I was running my last two runs I came up with a list of the top 10 things I know today that I would go back and tell myself as a beginner runner…I probably wouldn’t have listened anyhow lol…
- Buy the right shoes. Spend time in a Running Room or somewhere where they will take the time to talk about your running goals and where you usually run. Every shoe is a good shoe for someone, my opinion is that it should feel like a pair of slippers the minute you put them on. I won’t buy a pair of shoes I need to “break in”, I don’t think that’s necessary.
- Check the weather – it can change anytime, so be prepared to run in the rain no matter how far away those black clouds are. It might even be worth it to bring sunscreen on an “overcast” long run.
- Warm Up! I do a mini-ballet barre in my socks to warm up my feet. I skip around the yard like a kid. I do dynamic stretches to get my blood going and my muscles ready. Doing this only affects my runs positively. If there isn’t enough time, I shorten the run, it’s not worth the possible injury.
- Hydrate. I have made a habit of drinking a full glass of water before leaving. I have finally gotten over the idea that a fuel belt is geeky and for runs more than 8k, I now bring water and electrolytes, Vega gels and energy bars. I had no idea what I was missing till I started fuelling up properly, it’s like night and day!
- Run painfully slow for at least 5 minutes or a couple km to establish breathing and posture. If I neglect this crucial time, I end up in repair mode for those small aches and pains halfway through my run instead of pushing and exceeding my previous limits.
- Don’t assume that how the run starts is how the run will feel. The zipper that’s banging around, the water sloshing in the bottles on my belt, the inital stiffness…all that will disappear into the background within minutes.
- Never leave your tailbone behind! Core posture is literally the backbone of a strong run. I believe proper alignment in my hips has cured the IT band/knee strain on my short leg.
- Run on gravel to give your feet and ankles a chance to work harder. I consciously level up my abdominal use too, I can feel it free up my legs move as necessary on the uneven ground.
- Aches and pains happen, but don’t be afraid to stop and give it a bit of attention, you’ll probably win back the 30 seconds you take (or more!) in the end.
- Don’t look at the ground, let your focus take you forward on your journey and enjoy the scenery. This is harder to remember than you think!
Happy running!! 😀