You have made the decision to become a runner. Yes, you want that sleek, lean look. You want some time to yourself to clear your mind. You are looking for that “runner’s high.” You want to be able to tell people that you are runner.
While running is definitely good for your mind, body and spirit, there are some things to know beforehand. Get a good pair of running shoes, dress appropriately, stretch, and make sure to focus on your running technique.
Running shoes: A good pair of running shoes is essential. They can make or break you both literally and figuratively. Without a good pair of shoes, you are more prone to injuries. While you do not have to spend a fortune, go to a running store to get fitted. Your typical sporting good store does not have the expertise you need. A running store will make sure you are fitted correctly by testing your gait and watching you run.
Make sure to bring a pair of your old shoes too so they can see how they wore. Go to a running store and in the long run (no pun intended), you will be glad you did.
Clothing: No, you don’t have to go out and buy a whole new running wardrobe, unless you want to of course. Find something you are comfortable running in and that fits you. You don’t want to have to constantly be pulling up your pants or pulling down your shirt. Choose materials that are moisture wicking and will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Remember too, when you run outside, your temperature goes up anywhere from 15 to 20 degrees from the airs temperature. So, if it’s 50 degrees out, it will most likely feel anywhere from 65-70 degrees which could make a big difference on how you dress.
Stretching: There is much discussion about stretching when it comes to running. Some people feel you should stretch before and after you run. Others feel that you should only stretch after a run. Personally, I would do what is right for you. You know your body best and anything that helps minimize injuries and speed recovery is the way to go.
Running Technique: Pace yourself, you cannot go from no running to running a marathon. It just doesn’t work that way. And, if you try to, you are going to be more prone to injuries or become burnt out and quit all together. Develop a schedule for yourself. Make sure you increase in increments (both your pace and length) and schedule rest days for yourself too.
When you start to run too, you want to be aware of your posture. Land on your feet (toe/heel). Bounce as little as possible to minimize pressure on your knees. And remember to breathe, relax, and find your stride. After all, you are supposed to be enjoying yourself.
With taking just these few running tips into consideration, you are off to a good start. Take care of yourself and remember it’s not a race!
Joanna is an avid runner - among many other things. She is also a loving mother and a creative artist. In her free time, she bakes edible wedding favors for her party business and cookies for the kids' bake sales.