Thursday, July 11, 2013
How to Run.... for Amanda
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!