Hi babes! I hope you’ve had an amazing week so far! Today, I wanted to write about something that has been a trial for me throughout my life. I have always been a huge sprinter, and a lover of all field games. Lacrosse, flag football, ultimate frisbee, soccer, etc– have been some activities that I have LOVED! Sprinting and speed have always come easily to me, but the actual exercise of long distance running has been a lifelong struggle of mine!
I used to HATE running. After my freshman year of high school when I started cross country though… I learned a couple of things that taught me to really enjoy the strenuous activity. I have the BEST secrets to help you guys too. My secrets will seriously teach you how to LOVE running. It will become your favorite form of exercising, and it will get you SO FIT.
POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
Before you can learn to love anything, you need to love yourself. Even if you have NEVER gone on a run before, you need to have a positive outlook on the experience and yourself. Telling yourself “This sucks. I suck at running. This is the worst–” will have such a negative effect on your exercise. You will not perform well. If you tell yourself “This feels atefuleat. I am getting fit. The air feels good–“, you will seriously notice a huge difference.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
This will make a night and day difference. Listening to your favorite tunes gets your mind off of the pain and it allows you to run to the beat of the music! I like to listen to really upbeat music with lots of bass when I run. My favorite “running” song EVER is Levels by Avicii. DOWNLOAD IT. YOU WILL LITERALLY RUN FASTER THAN YOU EVER HAVE BEFORE. Music also helps because you can’t hear yourself panting, so you won’t hear your body telling you it’s tired which will allow you to keep on going!
GET THE RIGHT SHOES
I can’t stress how important this is. If you are running in the wrong shoes, you are opening the door to so many problems. Shin Splints. NEVER. Go away people. I’ve had them for years. It’s like the cold sore virus. You can’t get rid of it, and you just have to pray that it doesn’t get triggered! If you have any type of arch in your foot, you will sadly learn that the Nike Frees will ruin your life 🙁 That’s how my shin splints started and it’s just because the frees don’t have any arch support. It might be completely different with you though. I’ve heard that for most people, it can be a hit or miss. They are still stinking cute though and I will wear them for every other form of exercise! YOLO!
Inserts are so important and beneficial. They are made to insert into your shoe and it’s sole purpose (pun) is to give your foot arch support! This will prevent you from getting shin splints/ tired of weak feet. I just received a couple Type 2 inserts from Foot Scientific and they are amazing! They have a five layer design that is built to give you the most comfort and correction in your shoe. Be sure to check out their 3 minute VIDEO to find out what type of feet you have and what would work best for you!
EAT A BANANA
Eating a banana right before you run is the perfect snack I’ve found. It gives you the perfect amount of carbs to have the energy to run! Once you start, you’ll never go back!
HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE!
Drinking plenty of water before AND after is so necessary. It will make it easier for you to run. I have noticed that when I don’t drink enough water in the day, my run seems to be extremely hard and excruciating. When I load up on eight glasses a day though, it seems like a breeze to run. So grab a water bottle and keep refilling it throughout the day! You’ll thank me later!
START OUT SMALL, WORK YOUR WAY UP
Don’t expect to go from never having run before to competing in 5k’s. I used to be TERRIBLE at distance running. Sprinting has always come naturally, but distance is like speaking another language. Start out with small distances and slowly work your way up. Start going on one-mile runs and slowly work your way up to 3 mile runs, then 5 mile runs. Also, don’t be afraid to take a break! Your body will need it.
LOSE THE TREADMILL. GO OUTSIDE.
I don’t know why, but running outside is WAY easier than running on a treadmill. I think it might be the cool breeze you feel and the beautiful scenery you get to look at. I notice that I am able to run miles on miles outside without getting tired, but on a treadmill, when I am looking at how little I’ve ran and how much farther I have to go, it’s a bit of a debbie downer. If the weather conditions allow it, get outside and start running!
This is probably the most important tip I can give you. Especially if you are trying to get back in shape. Stretching after your workout will prevent lactic acid buildup. If you don’t stretch afterwards, it’s way more likely for you to have muscle soreness. Plus, if you do stretch, you won’t be as sore! This will allow you to quickly get on your feet again and get you to the fitness you’d like to be at! Spend at LEAST 5-10 minutes stretching AFTER your run.
COOL IT DOWN.
Right after your run, you will be tired. Be sure to walk around for 5 minutes after your run. Whether it’s around your driveway, your parking lot, your street, just WALK! It will cool your body down, and you will be GRATEFUL.
REST YOUR LEGS UPSIDE DOWN
After you do your cool-down walk, go up to a wall and lay your legs up on it, upside down. Do this for 5 minutes. It will allow all the blood that has gone to your legs go back down and rebalance itself. This will help your legs feel lighter and less tired.
ARE YOU SORE? TAKE A BREAK.
If you’re sore, congratulations! It means that you are making progress. Your muscles now have tears in them and your body is working on healing them! This whole process will ensure that you become stronger. But do NOT overwork yourself. Remember, the second day after you workout will be your most sore day! Slowly your body will start to feel better. If you can’t move after your first run, wait about 3 or 4 days before you run again, and then you can wait less time after that.
When you get back from your run, drink some chocolate milk and eat some snacks. You want to keep a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Yogurt, a peanut butter sandwich, a bagel, or even another banana will do the trick. Your body has just burned several calories so make sure you keep your body fueled with energy!
ICE ICE BABY
Now this tip can be a little painful, but you’ll be thankful for it later. Apply ice to your legs and shins. The best way to do this is to put ice in a large plastic bag, tie the bag in a knot and tape it to your body with some athletic pre wrap (the foam kind). You can find some HERE. If you want to go the extra mile, take an ice bath! Personally I could never do this lol but if you have worked your body extremely hard, the benefits are large! It will decrease your chances of getting muscle soreness.
TREAT YO SELF
Running is hard work. You’ve had a long day! Be sure to give yourself a luxurious reward. Now I am NOT talking about sweets and junk. I’m talking about a bubble bath with some epsom salts, or booking yourself a massage. Consider this your treat for officially changing your life. The more you do all of these steps, the more you will fall in love with running. I have found running doesn’t only keep me in shape, it just makes me happy. It’s therapeutic, gets my mind off of life, and it just makes me really happy! It has seriously become one of my favorite hobbies. Did you hear that? HOBBIES. I’m not lying.
Let me know what you guys think of my tips and be sure to use them! I can’t wait for you guys to go running! I know that you will love it just as much as I do! Thank you for reading and I’ll talk to you guys soon!