Sunday, October 23, 2011

Running Tips

Tips from the cousin (a runner who runs an "easy 10 miles" every morning) of a fellow blogger over at Tumblr: 
  • Get a running app. Every smart phone has at least one available for free. Guessing your pace is isn’t going to cut it if you’re counting calories or training for a marathon. *I use RunKeeper.  I tested the GPS with the track and it's dead on.  The pace tracker was also dead on with my finish time at the Rock 'n' Roll half I just finished.
  • If you’re running marathon length races, a break during the first mile or two is the most important.
  • Pace yourself. It doesn’t matter if there are 50 people ahead of you or 50 people behind you. Don’t judge yourself by their standards. You have your own pace and it works for you.
  • Pay attention to your breath. Inhale left foot, exhale left foot. 
  • Fuck yogic breathing. It doesn’t apply here. In and out through your mouth. *I do in through the nose and out through the mouth. But try different types of breathing and find what's best for you.
  • No matter how much you think you sound like Vader, you breathing aren’t nearly as loud as you think you are. Don’t hold back. If you don’t get enough oxygen, your muscles fail. *I'd bet my left arm that I do in fact sound like Darth Vader, but I could honestly care less--I'm running 13.1 miles... Must.Have.Oxygen!  
  • Don’t slam your feet on the pavement. Keep it as light as possible. If you’re on a treadmill, the entire gym shouldn’t be able to hear it.
  • If you can’t figure out if you’re a mid-foot striker, heel striker or toe striker, it doesn’t really matter. Unless your legs are killing you, just keep going. If you focus too much on your legs, you’re probably going to eat it.
  • Run against the traffic.
  • Only put a headphone in one ear, you want to hear a car before it makes you roadkill.
  • Ladies, loop your headphones through your sports bra. Fellas, run it under your shirt. If you’re going shirtless, hook the extra cord up in the armband so it doesn’t bounce around and hit you in the face.
  • Make a playlist before you go. Don’t rely on shuffle. Get a good selection of high bpm songs, or something that will make you angry/excited. You don’t want to pause and let your heart rate/stride falter while you try to skip all your Death Cab for Cutie songs. *If you're a DCC fan like myself, there are actually some decent running songs if you take the time to do the research!  
  • Take rest days. *It's hard to stop when you start to discover how great running makes you look and feel; but this tip is crucial.  REST.  Your body will thank you.  I'm slowly starting to believe this and follow through with this one.  
  • Mind over matter. Your legs don’t really hurt that badly. Yes, you can breathe. Keep going.
  • But listen to your body. If you legs are honestly giving out, head home.
  • Hydrate but don’t water log.
  • If your endurance is terrible, work it up with stationary bikes or cardio classes. Get your aerobic ability and actual fitness level up.
  • Stretch your calves with toe raises. Rock back on your heels and bring your toes up a few times before you run to reduce shin splints.
  • Strength train. You’ll get less shin splints as you build up the muscles in your legs.
  • Find good sneakers and pay good money for them. You can get all your other gear for cheap, but go name brand and take time to find a shoe that works for you. Some podiatrists will even fit you for what type of shoe you should wear.
  • Stick reflective tape to your heels if you run at night and bring a flashlight so you don’t turn an ankle. 
  • Pay attention. Be alert. Don’t get hit by the train that runs through traffic near the Fens (*I assume this is something specific pertaining to where he lives?). Run as if no one sees you. Make it your responsibility to keep yourself safe.

I went for a 9 mile run yesterday and had cramps early in the run.  Actually, I had been cramping during my runs all week--something that never happens to me.  I focused on my breathing using bullet tip #4 and my cramps went away around mile 5.  I ate some Clif Shot Bloks and caught a great second wind to finish off the last half of my run! 

Also, I fully agree with tip #14.  If there is one thing I've learned it's that running is mental.  It's effing hard, there's no denying that fact; but, if you tell yourself that you're strong and that you can overcome the pain, exhaustion, and (sometimes) boredom you'll discover what you're truly capable of.  Pushing through the pain and realizing your abilities is such an amazing feeling! 

Try these tips, discover what works for you, and tell us; what are some running tips that you swear by?! 

(*Note: Comments in blue have been added by me)

No comments:

Post a Comment