running 101: part I
Running. Either you love it, you hate it, or you don’t even know what you think about it. I admit that I have battled with my emotions many times over running–when the elements are in alignment, some days you feel like you could run forever. Those days are the best. However, they are quite counteracted by those days when it’s frigid, the minutes feel like hours, and you would give your right arm to just quit.
When I began running, I remember I really didn’t know much about what to do. I basically threw on my sneakers and hopped on the treadmill. After all these years of running, I now look back and wish I had put in the time and done a little more research. If I knew the basics I probably would have had a more pleasant experience. In order to make your experience better than mine, I’ve put together some basic guidelines you should know when considering the transition into running:
- Start slow. When I started I thought that anything above 9-minutes per mile was a snail’s pace…boy was I wrong! By the end of my runs I would be huffing and puffing with a mild headache. It was not a healthy way to exercise, but I thought that’s how running was supposed to feel. I thought that since I hadn’t done it before, it was my body’s initiation of sorts. One day I decided to ease up the pace and suddenly everything clicked. I was totally capable of running, I was just doing it entirely too wrong. So put your pride aside and keep. it. slow.
- Try a walk-run. Does running for 10 minutes straight terrify you? Do you break out in a sweat with anxiety just thinking about running? Try doing it in smaller chunks. Run for one minute, then walk for one minute. Slowly increase the time intervals as you get more conditioned and confident. Eventually you will get up to the point of breaking into a full run. You will feel prepared and your body will feel great!
- Baby your feet. It’s no secret that running can wreak havoc on certain body parts. In the beginning I took the time to get fitted for proper running shoes (those in NYC–Jack Rabbit in Union Square is the jam!) and it was such a great decision. These places have you hop on a treadmill, jog for a little, and they analyze your gait. They then walk you through the best sneakers for your body. I was fitted for a pair of Brooks and I have never strayed since! Proper footwear keeps you in tip-top shape.
- Dress for success. Almost as important as proper footwear is proper running attire. I’m not saying you need to go to the mall and deck yourself out in this season’s Lululemon (but if you can, werk it!), but make sure you dress for the right environment. The season that this is most important is winter. I used to run outside in winter temperatures and hate myself for making that decision. But the day I bought a Nike winter half-zip that had warm technology, the whole game changed. When you feel good in your environment, you don’t want to cut your workout short.
Tune in tomorrow for part II of this series!