Friday, August 16, 2013

Running Anniversary and 5 Tips for New Runners

Recently we passed an important anniversary at our home: The Jayhawk's first year of running!  Now this is not to say that he had never run before.  He had done a variety of casual 5 and 10k runs, but one year ago he started running more seriously, meaning he started tracking his miles, training for specific races, and even wearing fancy running shoes and dri-fit clothes. Last year he ran a 5k at the beginning of August that I consider his 'before' race and he hoped to run it again this year to see his progress, but unfortunately he violently pulled a hamstring while tubing a few days before.  I am thinking of taking him go over to run the course once he is healed!

I am incredible proud of all the progress he has made in the past year and it got me thinking: What are the 5 most important things when you start running?  So without further ado, here are my 5 tips for the running-curious out there:
  1. Patience. I can't emphasize this one enough.  Patience is a virtue (not my favorite one) and it is especially important when it comes to running.  Insane fitness and crackerjack speed don't happen over night.  It takes work and time for your body to adapt.  Be patient.  Good things will happen with consistent training.
  2. Power of the pack. Group training is a great resource and can be especially helpful and encouraging for new runners.  Check with local running stores and running groups to find out when they have group runs.  I have found the running community to be very inclusive and awesome. Join in!
  3. Shoes.  They are really the only piece of gear you have to have and getting a good, properly fitting pair is vital.  I recommend going to a running specialty store that can assess your needs and stride.
  4. Stretch!  It's something we all know we should do, but tend to get lackadaisical about.  If you make it a habit when you start, it will be that much easier to do on a regular basis. Don't wait until something hurts!
  5. Rest.  This is a hard one to learn, but are you are challenging your body to more, giving it time to recover is just as important.  Rest days are in a plan for a reason.  Make sure to take them.
And if that wasn't enough, this fun little slide show should sum up what it's like to become a runner.

What did I miss?  What is you most important advice for new runners?

8 comments:

  1. Oh the shoes and patience so important yet so frustrating at the same time. Who would have thought going to the Nike outlet and just getting the cutest shoes I could find was the worst idea EVER! I also enjoy this little gem about running…
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

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  2. I would actually recommend them to not stretch, but work on flexibility and mobility. There is a large difference between static stretching (which has very little if any benefit) and flexibility.

    What is largely ignored by new/most runners, is their running gait. They think they can just go out and run without having been taught. This is a grave error and likely why so many athletes get injured.

    Some of my thoughts on form: http://www.runningonthewhiteline.com/2013/08/what-is-poor-running-form.html

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    1. Very true and thanks for pointing out the distinction. Definitely will check out the link!

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  3. Don't go too fast and get discouraged.

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  4. Running with a pack of runners is awesome - inspiring and motivating. I never knew I could run such paces till I joined a group once a week. Great tips!

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    1. I agree. For some reason runs seem easier in a group. Maybe I'm not thinking about only running!

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