“I don’t run. If you see me run, you too should start running because something is probably chasing me,” was something I always said when my friends would ask me if I wanted to go for a run or participate in a 5K road race. Running was not part of my routine life and I was completely okay living my best life without running in the picture. Then came my late-20s-approaching-30s where I found myself gaining weight and feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. My normal routine of lifting weights and dog walking were not helping me sustain the healthy lifestyle I wanted while still being able to indulge in my loves – mac & cheese and pizza!
After talking with a few of my health nut friends, it was suggested that I download the “Nike Run Club” app – an app that has an audible coach to help you through your runs, control your breathing, and push you to keep going. I downloaded the app and set off on my first scheduled run. One and a half miles later, and to my surprise, I was still alive but feeling as if my legs were going to fall off my body! The following day, I woke up, my app reminded me it was time to go for a run…, and I did. And, just like that, running became a part of my weekly routine – running about three to four times a week.
A few months after I began running, I signed up for my first road race – and completed it! I felt so accomplished that I set a 2019 health goal of completing 12 races – one per month. We are six months in and I’ve completed a total of 6 races; four 5Ks, my first 10K and my first Mud Run. With six more races to go, I’d like to share a few tips and tricks to help prepare for your next or first race!
- Create a training schedule or use a run training app to help you stay on track of your runs. An app may provide guidance on what the best run lengths are for you leading up to race day.
- Invest in good running shoes! Your feet are the biggest tool you need to run and it is very important to take care of them with sturdy, comfortable, and properly fitted shoes. Don’t skimp on this – you will regret it after a long run in the wrong shoes.
- Be sure to count those sheep! Getting enough sleep through your training is very important. While running, you want to feel awake and energized; a lack of sleep can lead you to feel sluggish with low energy, causing you to dislike running.
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Drinking water before, during, and after a run is very important to your health. You are likely to sweat during running which depletes your body’s hydration. Stick to a goal of drinking your recommended amount of water while training.
- Have fun! Running can be fun and enjoyable. Get a running buddy who happens to double as an accountability partner. Running with friends makes the run go by faster and you can even get a few laughs in while training.