People who know me, know that I am not a runner. I have always vehemently opposed the idea of running. But recently something in me changed. I realized I was so against running because I was afraid of it.
My knee and hip issues can make running uncomfortable, my asthma can make it down right dangerous, and I have this side effect from a surgery that causes just the left side of my face to turn bright red after vigorous activity (which has been a long time embarrassment of mine that I’ve tried to mask from the world). I’ve hidden behind these excuses for far too long. I’m no longer running from my fears (see what I did there! *wink wink*).
I don’t like being told I can’t do something, and that apparently also applies to when I tell myself that too… So in the last couple of weeks I’ve begun to add some running intervals into my normal walks. I’m no where near being good or fast at running, but I’m trying. I’m starting to do something that I was so convinced I could never do. I’m now able to run for a 1/2 mile straight, and I’m averaging at around 12 minutes/mile (with power walking intervals). This is something that I am very proud of!
I’ve come up with some useful tips for other people out there who want to start running:
- Get good shoes. If your sneakers are terrible, you will feel it in the form of shin splints.
- Speaking of shin splints, you will get them no matter what. Inactivity in these muscles/being new to running will just cause it to happen. Rub your shins with your hands when you get home, and use an ice pack.
- Stretch. Stretch before and after. Trust me, you do not want to skip this…
- Stop competing with yourself! You can slow down if you need to. You’re not entering yourself in a race just yet so don’t try to sprint… Slow and steady.
- Manage your breath. I’ve learned some good breathing techniques from years of yoga classes. Apply what you learn on the mat and keep your breath steady. Don’t do yoga? Count your inhales and exhales (breath in for 2 or 3 counts, exhale for 2 or 3 counts).
- Listen to your body! If something hurts, please stop and take care of that body part. If you need to walk and catch your breath, do so! Remember that you are the only person judging yourself.
- Stay hydrated. The last thing you want is to get dizzy and feel sick when you are a couple miles away from home…
- And finally, have fun and look around you! You’ll be amazed at how beautiful your community is! If you take a new route each time you’ll notice and see things you never noticed before. I love to take a break and take a photo when I see something eye catching on my run.
What beginner running tips can you add to my list?