This blog has already proven to be useful! As it turns out, one of my wonderful co-workers read my post about not being a runner and gave me tips! Dan ran the Boston Marathon twice (in the past few years). Considering that, I’ll assume he knows what he’s talking about. Here are his tips and my snarky comments are in purple:
- Good running shoes are critical. Stay away from Nike and Reebok; I recommend Brooks, Saucony, or Asics. For your next pair, you should have a “gait analysis” done; get the feedback, try on lots of different shoes. Once you find a pair that works for you, stick with it. I’m currently on my 14th pair of the Brooks Dyad.
- Everyone needs to be careful about chafing (women especially). Apply vaseline where necessary. And preventative bandaids. I actually use on my feet/toes sometimes, to avoid blisters on super long runs.
I am NOT this good of a runner. I don’t think I’ll ever be this good. And I am SOOO ok with that!
- Wear appropriate clothing (NEVER wool), including running socks.
About the wool part, this would be great advice in the winter. In 100+ degree weather, it seems silly.
- Make sure you’re bright enough to be seen by oncoming traffic. Bring a flashlight at night.
I have seen enough crime drama to know never to run at night, thank you. Here is one of my favorite clips from Wanda Sykes, explaining how I feel about the subject (warning, crude language):
- Bananas are a great pre-run meal, and they store well if you bring them out with you.
This is the reason for my recent banana love.
- Be careful if you run and listen to music. Especially on the road. I usually hear things coming before I see them.
I run on a trail mostly in the woods, if I get hit by a car because I can’t hear it crashing through the forest, something is VERY wrong! Plus, to be honest, I’m crazy paranoid and keep my volume low so that I’m aware of the people around me! Again with the “I watch too many crime dramas…”
- If you keep with it, you probably won’t need the water bottle much longer. But don’t feel silly keeping it with you; there is nothing wrong with carrying some extra water, and everyone does it from time to time.
Thanks! Ideally, I wish it wasn’t completely disgraceful to use a fanny-pack. I want to carry tissues, chapstick, a little towel, my cell phone, and house keys with me too… but I don’t.
- Practice your breathing. Sounds silly, but if you make a very conscious effort to breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, it will become habit. When I was starting out, I would breathe in twice through my nose for every breath exhaled through my mouth. I don’t need to do the double inhale much anymore, but it was a good way to get into the routine. You’ll feel stronger and cramp less.
- Practice in bad weather. I go out of my way to run in extreme heat/cold, and years later feel strong in either condition. Running in the rain can be fun, too – you just have to get outside to enjoy it.
- If your shoes get soaked, do NOT put them in the dryer. Roll up some paper towels, shove ’em in, and leave them over night.
- It’s more important to stretch after a run than before it. If you stretch before, just do some light stretching. Really get after it post run, and you’ll feel great the next day.
- The Stick is your best friend.
- Exercise to build a strong core, and shoulders too. You’d be surprised how important both those areas are for runners.
I really wish running strengthened these for me…
Thanks, Dan! I really appreciate the advice! Truly, despite my snarky comments!
I will still happily accept advice from anyone else who wants to offer it! I’m learning and need every bit of info that I can pick up!