Sunday, May 22, 2011

5 Things I Wish I Knew Last Year

Let me make this clear: I am in no way any type of expert in running – I AM a new runner. Last year I learned a lot about running, through making bad decisions and I thought I would share.

1. Go to the running store immediately and invest in some shoes. When I first started running, I kept getting shin splints and muscle pulls. Once I finally broke down and got everything measured, I found out I had high arches, narrow feet, I pronate inward and I was buying shoes a ½ size too small. Once I got the correct shoes and inserts for myself my re-occurring injuries magically went away.

2. When it hurts, stop. I am not talking about tired muscles, I am talking about when it actually HURTS, like when something is wrong. I kept taking a day and getting back to running. I was popping Advil like candy. Unfortunately Advil does not actually heal pain, it just masks it. So when I was down, I was down for at least a week. This year I am taking it easy if I feel something awkward.

3. When you get sick, unless you have a fever, stomach flu, or cannot breath – run anyways. You may not agree with me on this one, but I insist this is the best idea for me. First of all trying to get my mileage back after taking a week or two off, especially since I am a new runner, takes twice as long. I am not a “natural” talent; I didn’t run my first half marathon in some amazing time without training. I have to work at it. Taking long amounts of time off do not help me.

4. Stretch, Yoga, do bendy stuff – whatever the trend – do it. Yes, it is boring. Yes, I am a person with no patience – that is actually how I started running – I got impatient with walking. It takes more self discipline for me to make time to stretch then it does to follow my training plan. BUUUUUUUT, it does make a difference for me. Oh – and just a side note, I always wait till after my body is warm to stretch.

5. Get a hand held water bottle. I drink a lot of water, when I get thirsty out on a run I NEED to drink. If I have no water, it can get to the point of me coughing a bunch and then it takes me forever to come back from that. I tried that belt thingy and hated it. First of all, it bounced everywhere. Second of all, I am already carrying around my own extra weight; I definitely do not need to carry around more weight. I have found that my little hand held water is perfect, I can fill it up at water stations everywhere.

I am sure I will have a whole new list after this race season, so stay tuned.

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