Once upon a time there was a lady named Jenna, she was 31 and she trained for a race and she did it. Two weeks later she over trained, got injured and quit. One year later, she laced up her shoes and she started over. I am in no way a professional, in fact, I am a beginning runner who is out there going for it. Running is scary to me, it is intimidating, but I feel like a complete badass when I do it.
Let’s start at the beginning…when I was in 4th grade I remember running the mile in 10 minutes and 30 seconds and hating every. single. second. of it. Enter an excuse, I hate running. Then I got married, I had kids…enter more excuses to NOT workout at all…
I don’t have time to excersise.
I’m too tired.
I work full-time and don’t have time to workout.
My kids keep me too busy and can’t be left along, plus I feel guilty for putting them in gym daycare after being in daycare all day.
I go to work to early and then have to come home and clean the house and cook dinner, I don’t have time.
All of those excuses. All of that time. My husband is the absolute best. He knew I wanted to work out but I always had an excuse, so he did something amazing. He surprised me with a treadmill. It is hard to have an excuse when you have a treadmill in your climate controlled basement. And because of him, a runner was born.
Here are some things that I have learned along the way…
- You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go. I am S-L-O-W. My fastest mile has been 12 minutes. The only person I race against is myself. I work hard to beat my times but I also work hard to go further right now and build my endurance. Speed will come along, and I will focus on that sooner than later.
- Stretch before, stretch after. My injury (Plantar Fasciatis) happened because I over trained and I didn’t stretch. I now stretch before and after.
- Music or no music find your jam. I love music and cannot run without it. However, I know some people who love running without. I like thinking “only one more song” “Only 1/2 of this Bieber song left…I’ve got this”. It really helps me keep a steady pace, stop thinking about the discomfort, and I time my breathing with the music as well. Music really helps me.
- Remember to breathe. Inhales and exhales should be the same length. I am a mouth breather when I run but when it starts to get a little “choppy” or difficult I slow my pace and really focus on steadying my breathe.
- Eat well to run well. My diet influences my running. Diet is really important when running. I also find that I need something small right after a run like a spoonful of peanut butter, string cheese, or a hard boiled egg white. Running makes me HUNGRY but I try to eat the right foods to keep my body energized and able to recover.
- Sleep/Rest. Enough said.
- Set goals. My goal this month is to run 50 miles. I don’t care how fast I run them, I just want to run them. Last month my goal was to get out and run at least three days a week and I reached that goal and averaged 5 workouts a week. No matter what your goal is for exercise, set one and reach it. It might even be one goal per run.
- Cross train. I take a yoga class and love how it stretches my muscles. I feel like my hamstrings, ankles and shoulders get so tight and closed off. Yoga really helps me “open” back up and stretch all those muscles. Plus, yoga is a great workout for balance and strength training.
I also wanted to share with you some of my favorite running “gear”…
I use this stuff and it is a life saver. I use it around my heels if I have irritation, my arm band, my thighs (because let’s be real). Seriously, this stuff is the best and a must.
I love listening to music while running and having my phone with me. This armband is comfortable and works well. I also like that I can check my pace or my time as well as distance with ease (by looking down at my arm).
These earbuds are worth the investment. They are so comfortable and I never have to adjust them. I just put them in and go. They are light weight, have great sound and I don’t even notice them.
I suggest you go to a running store and have them watch you run, measure you gait and see where you put pressure on your feet. I wear Nike Zoom Pegasus. These were the shoes recommended to me and I have not had any problems.
I also use the Couch to 5 K app and Nike app to help track runs.
Whether you are wanting to start running, or walking, starting can be the hardest part. Coming back from an injury is also frustrating, I know what I was capable of and can no longer do that, I had to start over. What is your favorite way to exercise? When is your favorite time to exercise? If you could tell your beginning self one thing, what would it be? Thank you for reading today!