When I first started running I hated it! A group of ladies and I had been doing turbo fire for several weeks before we started adding in a couple runs a week into our workout. I suffered from blisters, to shin splints, swollen knees, and it seemed insanely hard.
I started running at the track. I would run the straights and walk the curves. I started increasing the ratio of running and walking until I finally ran my first mile. After that first runners high, I haven't stopped!
I thought I'd write a post and share a few of my favorite tips that smoothed the transition from non-runner to runner. So if you've just began your journey of pounding the pavement or treadmill, here are a few things you should know.
It does get easier
Just like most things. The more you run the easier it gets. If you want to strengthen your muscles, improve your heart rate, and increase your endurance, you need to run at least 3 times a week. Start off with a doable distance of at least 1 mile, and gradually increase your distance. The key is to run at a pace where you can carry on a conversation. Muscles will strengthen, knees will get stronger, and your calories will burn!
Invest in a good sports bra
Yes, running can be painful. For the longest time I would wear two sports bras. A cheap cotton sports bra from target won't cut the mustard for running unless you wear one with good support underneath. You may have to spend $50 or more, but it's worth it when you only have to wear one.
Don't skimp on shoes or gear
I've never really skimped on shoes, but I have skimped on socks. I used to always wear cute, colorful, cheap, cotton socks, and then wondered why I had blisters. Get you a good pair of wicking socks. You won't regret it. You won't need a lot of gear, but you will need a good pair of tennis shoes ( I've jumped on the Brooks bandwagon and LOVE them), a good pair of wicking socks ( nike is what I have at the moment), a good sports bra (I've found that zulilly often has good sales on really good, name brand active wear. You can get a good support sports bra for half the price of stores.), and you'll need some lightweight running shorts. I prefer nike. They have built ins so you don't have to worry with wedgies or them riding up your thighs. Gear designed for running makes a huge difference and can make or break your love for running.
The days of driving a route to get the distance is over. Iphone running apps now have GPS that not only keep track of distance, but keeps your time and pace. If you're like me, your biggest competitor is yourself. I love being able to track myself so I can later beat myself. :)
Running outdoors is harder than running on a treadmill
Since I've moved most of my runs are done on the treadmill. Our town is putting in a walking park, and I can't wait until I can head there to get some outdoor running in. When I do get to hit the pavement it is much harder! There's real hills, uneven pavement, wind, and sun. Those elements do make running harder. Running outside will also burn more calories, and will increase strength and endurance. I believe running outdoors will make you a better runner. If you don't have a choice, like myself at the moment, make sure to set your incline to at least a 2 to make your run more like running outdoors.
Running is an awesome, rewarding exercise. However, if you're just getting started it can be tough. Don't give up! After all, only crazies actually like to run, right? Well I think everyone should be a little crazy. Listen to your body, and HAVE FUN! Btw, obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated...;)