‘Tis the season of running races, Salt Lake Community College students. There are many kinds, from the 1 mile variety to 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, marathons, triathlons, and so many more.
With all kinds of races, there are just as many different ways to train and prepare for every single one. They all take a lot of dedication and of course, a starting point. Some of the best secrets that aren’t really secrets are about to be shared. They’re simple to follow and just take a little motivation.
The first (and least acted upon) step is to go and see your doctor. Your doctor can assess your current health status, help you find you Body Mass Index (see last week’s article), and also help you figure out the best kind of running program to start with. If you have any kind of injuries, whether they be old or new, this is a good time to talk to your doctor about preventative steps against further injury and ways to avoid injuries that are common for runners to get.
Your doctor can also help you create a healthy eating plan to weed out the junk food and to increase your performance. I have at least three Volcano Tacos from Taco Bell per a week on average. I have noticed the way that this kind of eating has affected the way that I run. I feel the effects in the amount of sweat I have and how quickly I lose energy. I can easily feel a difference in my running when I am eating the foods that I am supposed to, like lots of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
Another useful tip that a lot people think they can skimp on is finding good shoes and apparel. I wish I could say that there is a secret to finding the best pair of shoes for you, but the problem is that everyone’s feet are shaped differently and this leads to many different brands and kinds of shoes. The best advice I can drop is to visit a store that specializes in running. Finding the one closest to you is simple. Read reviews if you can or try to see what brands a lot of professional athletes prefer. As for apparel, having good pants and shorts is crucial, especially in Utah with the dramatic temperature differences. Finding the right kind of fabric that breathes will save you a lot of undue stress and discomfort. It is definitely worth the money to have quality apparel.
One of the rules in Zombieland was to limber up. This is true with every type of strenuous exercise you’re about to perform. When you are running you are working not just your legs, but also your core. Ensuring that you are stretching your whole body will save you muscle pain after the workout and will help you increase your stamina. You can never stretch enough before and after running.
I learned the hard way that the way I run creates nasty shin splints in my legs. Fortunately this is a common mistake that most beginning runners have so I was able to diagnose the reason why I was getting them. When running, most people tend to put their heels down first, creating a shock on the muscles and bones in your legs. This was my problem. I began to focus on running “toes first.” Changing my technique decreased my shin splints tremendously. Another way to decrease shin splints is to run barefoot in a grassy area at least once a week during your training sessions.
These are just a few of the awesome running tips that all beginning runners need to try to accomplish before they start training. Take the first step and talk to your doctor to get started on a great way to lose weight, get out some stress, or to just plain feel accomplished.
One of the best websites I have found that can help set up a runner’s meal plan and provide other great running tips is at runnersworld.com.