Lately I've been asked this question a lot so I figured why not turn it into post? This is my list of things I wish I would have known when I started running, why I started running and what I've learned. Cause to quote School House Rock "Knowledge is Power!" . I make no claims to be a running guru. So take these with a grain of salt.
So how did I start running?
Well three years ago I graduated
from USU in one of the worst economies ever. That was fun. Then I had to
back to my High school job because they were only place that would take
me. So enter sad and depressed fat Blake who lived in his parent's
basement. One day I was cleaning my room and I discovered one of my old
journals from years and years ago and listed was one of those where will
you be at age ___. Well one of my goals was to run a marathon while I
was 26. No this isn't the part of the story where I suddenly started
going out the door and running 12 miles.
Nope. That night I
proceeded to eat my weight in Mint Chocolate Ice cream (with
Sprinkles!). Well at this same time my mom was transitioning from being a
full time mom to a part time one. On a whim she had entered the Ogden
Half Marathon and finished. Then she signed up for another one. At this
point I was watching her train for the Ogden Half in 2010. I realized
that if my 49 year old mom could run why couldn't I? So one day I went
with her and her running group to the Riverdale Parkway.
I could hardly run a mile.
It was awful and I felt like I was a fat walrus. Yet in the moments
when I could run I felt awesome. I liked it cause I felt alive for the
first time in a long time. So with a month and half before the Ogden
half I found a training plan that would help me train for the race. My
uncle had to drop out due to a bad knee so I was sneaking in his spot
(yes the 50 and older group). So I did what I could to train. I went to
spinning. I went "running" I did what call the run walk plan. I would
run to a certain point and then I would walk. When I crossed the finish
line I was so proud of myself for just finishing. After getting my first
pretty shiny medal I was hooked!
So to answer your question. .
Don't defeat yourself. Running is the easiest and hardest sport to
start. You can do this. Let me give you some of the tips I wish somebody
would have told me.
1. Go to a running store and get your
feet tested for the right running shoe. They make you run around the
store and on treadmills and asses what kind of foot type you are. Then
get the good socks. This will make your feet happy. Also ask them if
they have beginning running clinics. Runners want people to be with them.
We are a social/anti social bunch.
2. Invest in comfortable
running clothes. Nothing sucks more than bloody nipples. Its not very
attractive and it hurts like hell. Also bright shiny fun colors seem to perk me up when I go run.
3. I bought one of those
Nike + watches (they cost 50 bucks and really worth it!) so when George
and Martha (my first running shoes and yes I did name them.) and I went
running I could see how far I went. Another perk? It had a really cool
website that when I plugged it in I could set goals and it would send me
texts and emails encouraging me. But there are thousands of phone apps.
I've heard map my run is awesome as well as the live strong one. Now I've graduated to the Garmin. The Garmin makes me cry cause it tells me the accurate distance on how far I've run but its cool cause now I can plan my routes better.
4. Pick a race. I chose races based on A. the pretty shiny medal. B.
Some place that has some special meaning to me and C. Also on if its a
flat course or one on a gradual incline. I would start with a 5k and
work your way up to a half or a full. I jumped right into a half
marathon and it freaked me out a little bit with all these running
Barbies and Ken running so much faster than I was.
5. There is no shame in walking. In fact there is a really popular method called the run/walk method.
6. I love to run with music. It keeps me going. I have a special i pod
called Trixie. Cause my music taste belongs to a 16 year old girl (Spice
Girls be my jam yo!). I put all of the songs that push me. That have a
mellow beat yet fast enough to get me going. However some people like to
listen to themselves breathe. Its a personal preference.
Recruit others to do this with you. And TELL EVERYONE what you are
doing. Hence the reason why Blake Got Fat exists. Not only am I a
shallow and vain individual but allows me to hold myself accountable to
others. There is nothing more embarrassing than running into somebody
who reads your blog and asks you how your running/exercise plan is going
and you look like a fat walrus.
8. Go for ten minutes. If you
are hating life at 10 minutes then walk or do something else. I never
leave the house all YAY! I get to go hurt myself! Its more like but I
want to sit on the couch and watch Gilmore Girl reruns and eat lots and
lots of ice cream. But there is nothing better than coming home and
seeing yourself go I went for a 40 minute run! Or a 3 miler!
9.Do your research. Get all the information you can from other sources. I
went to the Library and checked out all the books they had on running
and picked and chose what would work for me. Also Runner's world .com
became my best friend. Also if you can see if you can borrow somebody's
old copies. This magazine is amazing cause it gears everything to the
beginner to the seasoned pro.
10. Do other things besides
running. I run 4 days a week and go to spinning, swimming, yoga, and
some of Jillian Michael videos. Cross training is your friend. Hike walk
11. Love your rest days. These are the days that I love
cause I allow my self to relax. Also these are the days where I reward
myself after a long run with something good.
12. Come up with your own mantra. Mine is Go Diego go! I blame Dora the explorer.
13. WATER! WATER! WATER!
14. Stretch. I stretch before I go out and I stretch when I get home.
This way I can go up stairs. Also a Foam roller will be your best
15. Let people know where you are going. Go with a friend at night or go to the Gym. Safety first.
16.. Love yourself. This is the most important thing. Nobody cares if
you do this or not but you. Make this fun for you. There is no right or
wrong way to run.
I love running for the fact that it challenges me. I'm not the best but that doesn't matter. Cause when I'm out on a run on beautiful sunny day with my jams playing and I feel happy. Sometimes I have great runs and sometimes I have terrible ones. The fact is that is I'm a happier person when I go.
So there ya have it. My running advice.