TGIF! And I mean that! The first week back at work after vacation was a doozy.
It’s been a minute since I last joined in on a Friday Five. I’m happy to have found a few extra minutes to join in on the fun today! Thanks to the DC Trifecta, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, for hosting every week.
So what are my five running tips? These are just a few things I’ve learned over the past 18 months of running – hopefully any newbie runners out there can benefit.
Stretch! (and cross train) – I can’t stress stretching and rolling enough. It definitely makes such a difference in how you feel and how a long run can make you feel the day after. I have a stick roller and a foam roller that I use. A rolling pin can come in handy too, there just isn’t any texture to it. Cross training is just as important because it adds variety and can help keep your entire body strong for the repetitive motion of running (i.e. your core.) One of my favorite forms of cross training is yoga, it can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be, you can do it virtually anywhere, and it helps out with the stretching.
Embrace your pace. No matter what your comfortable pace is, embrace it. I’m slow. There I said it. But I’m still running. I’d like to be faster, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Most of my other running friends are faster than me, and I’m not trying to keep up. The one thing I’ve learned, this summer especially, is to run your slow easy runs, just that – slow and easy. Last summer I was always trying to run everything as fast as I could, or at least at a faster pace than I was truly capable of, which resulted in a lot of walk breaks and not so fun runs. So I’m taking my paces seriously, running slow when I need to and running faster when I’m supposed to. It’s made everything seem much more manageable this training cycle.
Carry Water. Even if I’m just going out for a few miles, I carry water (especially in the summer). Even at races, I carry water (see above, in snow even!). Some people rely on aid stations, but if I’m carrying water, I don’t need to stop. It’s really just the comfort of knowing I can have water when I want it and not be thirsting until the next aid station. When I’m out running in my neighborhood, there are no water stops. There is a Dunkin Donuts, but I only step foot in there during a run if I need the loo. (After my run is a different story – large iced coffee please!). If you carry water no other time, at least carry it in the summer. It’s so humid around here in MD that even at 60 degrees, I’m schvitzing more than a sinner in church.
If it hurts, stop. Period. Running shouldn’t hurt. I’m not talking the heavy legs, soreness from yesterday’s yoga class. I’m talking pain. Don’t run through pain. Get it checked out. You don’t want to make things worse. Last summer when I hurt my knee, I rested a bit and then tried to run again and it was excrutiating. I knew it wasn’t right. I ended up having 6 weeks of no running, but had I continued to try and run through the pain, it could have turned into months of no running. No bueno. Get checked out, take some prescribed rest, and then get back out there (when you are given the go ahead!)
Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Over your pace, over a missed workout, over your bad run, over your bad race. Just don’t. You are out there and doing more than someone who’s sitting at home with a bag of cheetos – so pat yourself on the back. If you have a bad run, think about what you could have done better and aim to improve on that next time. In the HR world we call those “areas of opportunity”. If you are just too tired to get up and run or workout – it’s okay! Sleep in and get up early tomorrow! Just yesterday I had to miss my tempo run because I had to get up early for work and got home too late to fit in the run. So you know what, I got up and did a couple miles today – it wasn’t a tempo run, but I got up and did something. Running should be fun and if you are constantly beating yourself up over mistakes or how slow you are, the fun isn’t going to last. Then you’ll be asking your buddy on the couch to pass the cheetos.
So those are my tips. I can’t wait to read everyone else’s!
Anything fun planned for your weekend? If it wasn’t Cheetos on the couch, what would you be passing around?