Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Run.... for Amanda

Sometimes i think i should be the one giving running clinics to people who want to get started on a running program instead of the elite runners for the simple reason that i don't LOVE running. And yet i started running in 1980 as a New Year's Resolution and with the exception of maybe 6 weeks off here and there for illness i have never really quit running.

Because i don't love it i have to make rules for myself. This might not work for everyone, especially if you don't like goal setting and rules like i do. But i found if i think of it like a job and take the choice out of it i can do it.

So here is a random list of my tips on How to Run:

1. First off, don't try too much too soon. Too many people people do this and then find that it hurts and then they quit. When i started i worked up to one mile and took my time getting there. I did a lot of walk/running first.

My goal was to be running two miles without stopping after two months, three miles after three months etc. And then i stuck to running three miles for a long time before doing more than that.

2. Try to find a short race to run. Like a three mile race. Don't go out and do a 10K right away. Races are actually the only time i think running is kind of fun.

3. Never miss more than two days in a row of running. If you are unable to run Monday and Tuesday for whatever reason, then you MUST run on Wednesday. I have actually been outside running my condo circle at 5 am or 11 pm a few times to not break this rule.

4. The only time i break the rule is when i am sick. Or if i am on vacation and it doesn't feel safe to run. For example, some fly fishing trips just don't work for running for me. I have been known to work out in an exercise room at a hotel if need be, but i really really hate machines.

5. So if you know you have to resort to running on a treadmill and you hate it like i do, try and plan ahead of time by making a new playlist on your iPod.

6. I don't think i need to tell you that you should run with music. The iPod was the best invention ever for running. I have been running so long that i used to run with a transistor radio because even those Sony cassette walkman players weren't around. I can't believe i actually used to run with a personal CD player back in the early 1990's! They were pretty cumbersome.

7. I like running with a partner but not all the time. Sometimes i like being alone because i will often get ideas or remember stuff while running alone. Plus i hear lyrics to songs that i didn't catch before.

8. Don't wash your running clothes all that often. (even your socks) I will run in the same clothes for 4 days in a row and just air them out. There is no need to wash them unless you are running on a treadmill at the gym. Nobody will smell you if they get ripe and you will add years to your running clothes.

9. Change up your shoes according to your running schedule. This is probably the most important thing! For example i change my shoes every 4 months  (I keep it on a calendar). I run 4-5 miles every time i run these days and usually 5 days a week, sometimes 4. But always at least 4. And for the number of miles i do Running World had a formula i read awhile ago that told me i need to change them up. It's true. My knees and hip start to hurt if i go too long with the shoes.

10. Of course buy good socks. I like Wright socks. or Wigwam i think they are called.

11. I run in a neighborhood that is not so busy that i can run more towards the middle of the road, just to the left of the center line, so that my feet are not always hitting the pavement at a cant. I found that my knees liked me a lot more for this. Always try to find that sweet spot where the road is most level. Sometimes it's on the very end of the shoulder. But pay attention to how your feet heat pavement.

12. Buy a good running bra. Buy two of them. I like the Moving Comfort ones, plus they come in really cute colors.

11. Recently i started running in a skort. I thought it was going to be stupid and cheerleader-y but i actually love it. For one thing it's a bit longer than my regular running shorts. (Too long of shorts are a hassle with the fabric on the inside of your legs and so if you don't want short shorts then a skort is good for that, plus very comfortable. and it doesn't flip up either like i was worried about. I got mine at Title Nine.

12. Back to racing for a bit: Try to find a friend to enter the race with you. it will make you less apprehensive about the race. And remember that you need to pace yourself and not start off too fast. You will be able to run faster and longer in a race. It's just like that, probably something to do with adrenaline. For example if you train for a 10 K race (6.2 miles) you only really need to train up to 5 miles. If you comfortably run 5 miles you will be able to run 6 miles.

13. Find the time that you like running the best and do it then. I do not like running in the mornings because i like to take my time around the house. But on the times i have run, i do love getting it out of the way but  just know if running had to be done every morning i would have given it up a long time ago. After work or lunchtime just works better for me. Find your favorite time.

14.  Keep a running diary/spreadsheet if you like that sort of thing. I don't actually measure miles as much as time and i never measure speed. Those running aps on the iPhone are cool but i would maybe discourage them so you don't feel bad if you aren't running better than a 10 or 11 minute mile. I just like seeing my progress so i keep a spreadsheet but i only enter the minutes i have run. (And sometimes the music i listed to on my iPod. Don't ask me why, i just do.)

15. Back to music for a bit: Don't try to run to music by Ray LaMontagne or Joni Mitchell, or other acoustical stuff. Slow music will slow you down! I run a lot to The Black Keys.

16. Don't expect to experience those runner's highs. I don't really know what that means anyway. It's sort of like trying to explain an orgasm to someone who has never had one. I do know that when i have run long distances there is a feeling that i get that it feels like i could keep going. But that only happens if i have run a long time, like over an hour so i imagine that must be the endorphins they talk about. But it's not often in all my running days that i have ever felt like that. Mostly i just want to get it over with.

17. Run in the rain. You can't avoid it. I even have run in the snow. Don't run in lightning though or if it looks like it's going to storm.

18. This is what i tell myself and others about running:  (It's a good reminder why you do it too.)
I hate dieting and i love carbs. This puts some of those carbs to good. I don't like flossing my teeth either, but i still do it. I don't like getting up to go to work in the morning but off i go. I really really hate folding laundry and emptying the silverware basket from the dishwasher but it's a necessary chore. So think of running that way. Only with even more benefits than having an orderly house and healthy teeth and not having to buy new clothes because you put on weight. You will add time to your life. Unless of course you get hit by a car.

19. Speaking of safety.... don't have your volume turned up too high on your iPod so you can hear outside noise. And wear a reflector banner if you're out near dusk. (I only run around my condo circle if it's dark out but i still wear a banner.) Always carry pepper spray. I have never had to use it ever but i like having it for possibly stray dogs. Also, i just found out that you should buy a new spray once a year so it works properly in case you do need it.

20. Once you've been doing it for awhile and stick to it you will find that it will be easier to keep it up even as you don't love it. It becomes a habit. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's an addiction but it is something i miss as i surprisingly found out when i couldn't for a few weeks.

21. Think of yourself as a runner and not just someone who runs for exercise. It's always nice to be able to identify yourself with a positive like that.

22. And i don't care if you run a 13 minute mile. Never call it jogging.

Have i forgotten anything? i may have to come back and edit these. Or i might think of more.

If i were/was drinking wine i would write these out as Thug Kitchen would. That could be fun!


jojo cucina cucina said...

I hope this helps Amanda!

I forgot to add one very important thing: You need to find a good baseball hat that does not give you hat head. Because you will want to protect your hair when it's raining or drizzling or just high humidity so it does frizz. It took me a few tries but i found one that i wear which makes it nice for when i run during lunchtime and have to take a quick bath and get back to work. (this works for me since i live only 2 miles from work.) But it helps not having to dry my hair if it's been raining.

louielouie said...

A couple of running tips Jo forgot - from a former runner

1. Go ahead and run while you're pregnant, if you're already running. I ran during both my pregnancies and had great babies. Ran my last 10K while pregnant. Not even gonna say how old that baby is now.

2. Avoid running on hot pavement or downtown when it's hot. My worst 10K ever was the Seafair/torchlight run prior to the parade. It was HOT, the crowds were already lining the street for the parade, and I didn't even get a shirt.

3. Wear pigtails. It keeps your hair off your face. Plus you'll look hot.

I can't add more 'cause I don't run anymore. Wish I did, but just can't make myself start up again. I'm lucky to walk.

jojo cucina cucina said...

DO NOT wear pigtails!!! Just find that good baseball hat i was talking about.

Omg louie i need to find that photo of you and me at one of those 10ks where you are sporting those pigtails!

and it's true..louie ran late into her pregnancy.we ran that Run For the Roses 10k in Oregon (i think it was in Oregon) while you were pregnant. We traveled with i think 3 other women and we 5 girls checked into a room at the Best Western the night before. I remember you were eating saltines in bed to calm your nausea.

louielouie said...

It was in Salem
an all women's run - I can't remember the name of it- kind of cool actually. The saltines were Ok, but I was bummed I couldn't get in the hot tub

You're right though Jo, the pigtails only work if you have an 80's perm

Anonymous said...

"Don't expect to experience those runner's highs. I don't really know what that means anyway. It's sort of like trying to explain an orgasm to someone who has never had one." Another favorite quote. But I won't put that one on facebook, because then my mom would see it.

I also love this: "You will add time to your life. Unless of course you get hit by a car."

I started doing a slow run on the treadmill on 15% incline to train for hiking in the mountains. The fitness guy came in and said "oh, i see you're a runner now." and i said, "oh, not really." and he said, "you're running, that makes you a runner." and it made me feel like a runner. i got to a point where i didn't feel like i was going to die after 20 minutes, but then i stopped for a while because i need to rest between these major hikes i've been doing.

I like your list!

Anonymous said...

oh, that was me if you didn't figure it out (equeyaya)

jojo cucina cucina said...

i like how you always find my funny eque/Barbara! It sounds funnier when you re-quote it somehow.

Yes, you are a runner. I forgot to talk about how running is so mental. For example when i plan to go for a long run i will tell myself a day ahead of time to think about my long run the following day to get mentally ready and i will remind myself to drink more water so that i am physically ready and when i get out there it makes a difference. And i have little trouble getting through it.

But when i go for my usual Sunday run with my sister in law we never go as far because she can't and now we mostly walk it because she has injuries that don't allow for running as much anymore and when we would go for the short run there is no way i wanted to keep going longer - i was always ready to quit because it was already in my mind that i was expecting a shorter run.

Races are like that too. I've never once had a problem with any race i've run because i've always been mentally prepared for it. I think it's just as important as being physically prepared.

So when you think of yourself as a runner that is part of being mentally prepared. You will find it easier to keep up.

And like i said, don't ever refer to yourself as a jogger. I always think of joggers as women in brightly colored velour running suits wearing a headband across their forehead Olivia Newton John style.

Amanda said...

I love your list, Jo. Thank you! It's incredibly helpful. I started running with music over the weekend. Made a huge difference...until Pandora started playing Eye of the Tiger and all hope was lost.

I'm also looking into doing a 5k. I've done two before. I was one of the slowest in my age group, but I didn't care. It was still fun, even if I worried I might die and leathery old people were passing me.

When's your next race? There's a really cool-sounding one at Northwest Trek in October. I always thought that one would be fun.

Thanks again. I'm bookmarking this!

jojo cucina cucina said...

Hahaha about Eye of the Tiger Amanda. Just what did you plug into Pandora to get that?

I don't plan to run another race except if things go well this year i may do the half marathon in May again. Running races is a great incentive especially when starting out. Like i said races can be fun.

BTW i have tips for racing too! One to add is never listen to music when racing. It is really frowned upon for safety reasons but alsoyou miss some fun conversations as you run alongside people.

However the most important reason is when you run a race with music you will become a jogger.

jojo cucina cucina said...

And you don't want that. Besides as you probably already know you won't be bored one second during a race so you won't need it anyway.

Amy said...

It could have been worse. Pandora could decide you need Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift.