Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia host Friday Five, and although this is a day late (sense a pattern here?), this week's topic is 5 Running Tips!
While I'm certainly not the most proficient runner, there are definitely some life lessons I've learned so far.
1. Get the right pair of shoes!!! I think any runner will tell you this, and it's so so important. I started running in Nike Frees. Such a bad decision! They've now retired to my weight lifting shoes and work just fine for that. I then went to Asics, the GT 2000 model. They worked pretty well for me, but I still had some arch soreness and tenderness for me. We have a "natural" running store in the next town over, Georgia Game Changers. It was there that I found Newtons, and I've fallen in love with them! I still get some arch soreness, but it's usually just when I'm undertrained, so I don't blame that on the shoe at all!
2. There are running clothes that are both comfortable and cute! I have thighs. Big ones. As much as I love cute little Nike, etc. running shorts, I just can't do them! They ride up and then there's chafing, and no one likes that. I also live in Georgia, which means pants or capris just aren't an option the majority of the year. I finally found SparkleSkirts which are long enough, never ride up, and are super cute! They also have really functional pockets. I never run in anything else now! The point is - find what works for you. I thought if I couldn't wear the cute little shorts, I couldn't be cute running, and I was totally wrong about it.
3. You don't have to run every day to train for a race. There are a lot of people out there that run 6 out of 7 days a week. That's wonderful for them. But it doesn't work for me. I don't have the patience for it, quite frankly. And I don't need to run that much to race well. Galloway's plans call for 3-4 days of running a week and that works just fine for me! It seems to be a theme - you just have to find what works for you, and not feel the need to do what everyone else is doing.
4. Running brings you into a great community. There are bloggers I follow because of running alone that I've met in real life who are amazing people! There are huge blog communities online, such as link-ups like this one. Or on Tumblr. Or on Facebook. There are local running groups, or local chapters of national running groups such as RWB. I definitely haven't taken as much advantage of these groups as I should have because I'm not the most social person, but they are available and definitely something all new runners should look into!
5. It's ok to be last. It's ok to be slow. A lot of the blogs I read are super fast runners. They amaze me every time they post Garmin pictures after a training run, or race results on weekends. I envy them, and I get jealous of their times. Sometimes I feel disheartened comparing my times to theirs. What I've learned over the years, and from doing small races, is that I am slow and sometimes I will come in last. But also sometimes I'll place in races (and not by default!). Just because I finish last, or close to it, doesn't mean I'm less of a runner or I ran a lesser race than those who came in first. I ran my own race and did the best I could!
Running is definitely a great experience, but it's hard to go in to blind. Well, at least for me. Some people are natural runners and need barely any gear or help. But the majority of us need support and help, and hopefully this can help someone!
What are your best tips?