Running has been around notably since 776 BC in the first Olympic games. In fact for awhile running was the only sport in the games. Since then there are now runs set up all over the world, 5ks, 10ks, marathons, Trail Racing, Triathlons, Fun Runs, Obstacle runs and even Ultra Racing( races consisting of running 50-200+ miles)! There are races for everyone. For those of us in Law Enforcement, we have the Baker to Vegas relay race coming soon. I have seen officers and dispatchers from all over the world participate and it is a pretty cool sight. For those who don't know what it is. The race begins in Baker California and continues for miles until the teams finish in Las Vegas Nevada.
The problem with running is that it is not for everyone, or it can just be plain embarrassing trying to start. I remember plenty of times that I couldn't even make it two blocks without stopping to catch my breath. Since then I have done a handful of runs, I haven't fallen in love with it yet, but my husband has a found a new love? Like? For the sport. I am now being taken on this running journey whether I like it or not. So where do I go from here? Where do I start and what is needed to build up my running abilities.
"The miracle isn't that I finished. the miracle is that I had the courage to start."
by John Bingham
Here are the top 10 suggestions I found.
- Set a goal. Any goal can be set, such as just running around the block, or if you need a little fire lit under you pay for an upcoming race. That way you will feel guilty if you back out and waste your money. Even announcing your goal to family or friends can help keep you accountable
- Gear. Make sure you choose clothes that give you support such as sports bras, compression pants, even blister free socks. You might want to invest in headphones (My husband and I prefer wireless, the Bose ones have yet to fail my husband, and I use the Beats wireless headsets. Some pants don't have room for small items such as a key and phone. If this is an issue you might want to invest in a fanny pack (gasp, eww, gross), yes I know but they are making a comeback, and if those are not for you there are more streamlined smaller versions that are no longer hot pink or highlighter green! The most important items to purchase will be your running shoes. If you are going to take this running thing seriously, then invest in a good pair. The top brands that I have found have been New Balance, Saucony, Brooks, and Hoka. What is even better is if you can find an actual running store near you, they will evaluate how you run and what shoe would best fit your needs.
- Phone a friend. Find someone to help support your goal. Have your supporter run with you, or just get on your case if you are not staying aligned with your plans.
- Stay Hydrated. Water has so many benefits and in general should be a daily routine in your life. However, before your run it is suggested that you drink around 20oz 2 hours prior to your run. When the run is finished make sure you drink plenty of water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes to replenish your body.
- Fuel Up. Your body needs energy. It is as simple as that. Try to eat 1.5 hours before your run such as having some oatmeal with fruit or granola mixed with yogurt. When your run is completed, again you need to replenish and fuel your body. Try to eat within 30-45 minutes of your completed run.
- Get Acclimated. If you pick a particular race as your goal, try, if at all possible to get acclimated to the weather, time or the elevation that you would be running at for your upcoming race.
- Build Your Habit. Keep a running log of your runs and your times. Seeing how far you've come will keep you motivated. Just imagine the change that can happen in one month! There are tons of apps & fit watches that can help you with this! The app I am currently using is the Nike+RunClub! I absolutely love it, there are specific training programs you can choose or just a single run for any given day.
- Warm Up. This should go without saying. However, it is a step that is often overlooked and can lead to energy. Stretch for at the very least 5-10 minutes before you start.
- Cross Train. Try changing up the cardio. Every day does not have to be a run day. Try working your muscle groups in different ways. Try throwing in some strength training, swimming, cycling, or even hop on the elliptical for a day.
- Rest. Your body needs rest. While running your body is breaking down your muscles with each stride you take. The rest day(s) are a needed for your body to repair and recover.
Aside from losing weight, there are other benefits to running such as relieving stress, depression, and most importantly can be a contributor to beating breast cancer, strokes, diabetes, and high blood pressure to name a few. Hopefully some of these tidbits will entice you to get off the couch! Now go throw on some jams and hit the road! Take out all of your aggression and remember forward is a pace so do not stress about how fast or how slow, just keep going!
"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
by George S Patton
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