Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tips for runners

Hey, it's me running my first 10K!
I often get asked questions about running.  I have been a runner...gosh...for nearly 15 years.  I ran occasionally in high school and college, did my first sponsored race, the 4 mile St. Patrick's Day run, when I was 19, and in 2004 I really became a running junkie, doing 5K's and 4 milers throughout the year.  This year I ran my first 10K.  I honestly never thought I would.  In the past once I hit about 4.5 miles my IT band would start to ache and I would have to stop.  I just didn't think I had it in me.  But thanks to the mild winter we had I ran all last winter and kept adding the miles.  I also know that the core strength I have from Pilates is the main reason I can run farther.  I know how to use my body more efficiently.  In this article from fitsugar I love how it talks about leaning a bit forward, engaging the low abs, and keeping the shoulders relaxed.  Ummm....hello Pilates students!  For ideal posture what I am saying non-stop, all day, every day?
1.  Lean into the wind
2.  Lengthen your tailbone
3.  Shoulder down the back
Pilates terms that can help you not only with your daily posture but with your running as well. there are three helpful tips already.  Now, I will share a few more tips.  Things that I do or have done that have helped me enhance my running.

1.  Let intervals be your friend
If you are brand new to running and want to give it a try start slowly.  I think most people are under the assumption that you have to go out and run immediately, start to finish.  Yeah, only if you are perfect.  For those of us just slightly less than perfect, start out with a walk/run mix.
You will need a watch or timer!
Walk at a fast pace for 2 minutes
Jog/run for 1 minute
Continue this easy interval for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes...however long you can give.
Stay with this interval for at least 4 workouts.  If you feel like you are ready to run more run for 2 minutes/walk for 2 minutes.  Then gradually begin to walk for just 1 minute and run for 2 minutes.
I used intervals like this to run my first 5K (Race for the Cure KC 2008) after having Levi.  Walking was frustrating for a competitive type like me because I would get passed, but lo and behold, during my running interval I would pass quite a few people and ended up finishing with a good time and feeling great!  I would recommend using intervals for your first road race event.  Why not?

2.  Walk to warm up, walk to cool down.
If you are running several miles + your body need a good warm up and cool down.  Give yourself 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after to walk at a moderate pace (think walking through the park).  I learned the hard way this last spring that not cooling down properly and long enough can lead to a splitting headache.

3.  Take the good with the bad
Depending on the weather, your body, your mood, your running will feel different from time to time.  Maybe you have goaled yourself to run 3 miles but by mile 2 your muscles are done and you just want to stop.  Know when to push yourself but also listen to a fatigued body.  While training for my 10K I had days when I would run more than a mile past my goal because I felt so great.  But there were plenty of other days when I would stop short of my goal because my body just couldn't that day.  Sure, at the time I was frustrated, but looking back I may have been pushing a little too hard.  Or it was 95 degrees outside.  Pay attention to your body and you will feel better in the long run.

Runners out there...please share your tips below!


  1. ...power through it, it is possible to enjoy! (well thats for beginners)


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