How are you all? I hope good 🙂 Here is the second blog post of my running series. Today I want to share some tips and tricks which helped me getting back into running. I hope you enjoy and I hope the tips are helpful.
A little disclaimer at the beginning: I am not a professional. All things mentioned worked for me but might not work for everyone else. Just keep that in mind 😉
Don’t start with long runs
Especially at the beginning people (including me) are really motivated to start fast, go on long runs, get all the energy out. I get it but if you are honest to yourself, it doesn’t really make sense. When I got back into running last year I learned from a guided run that you should start slow and easy. Don’t go on long runs if you haven’t run before.
In fact, my first run was about 7 minutes long. The second one I did was around 15 minutes and the third one was 20 minutes long. I stopped at 7 minutes even though I would have been able to go longer if someone had told me to do so. It was a good feeling.
If you stick to an easy, doable time frame, you can be sure that you will end your run on a positive note, knowing you have accomplished your goal, no matter how small (or short) it is.
Find the right pace
With pace, it’s almost the same as with duration. When starting your running journey choose a pace which makes you feel like you could run faster. If someone told you to run faster, you could. And if the pace you chose at the beginning is getting too exhausting, then slow down. Slow down to a pace which allows you to think you could run faster.
I still do that, especially when running up a hill. I slow down, sometimes to a pace that almost looks like walking. No matter how slow though, you keep running and that is honestly the best feeling.
Accept that not every run is good
I have to remind myself of this a lot. No run is like the run before. Not every run is good, some are really hard, some are really easy but that is okay. Most important is to listen to your body. I have days where my legs feel so heavy that I decide to go on a really short run. Some days I just go for a walk, and then other days I have so much energy and feel the endorphins flowing that I could run for hours without a break. Listen to your body and don’t force anything. We get so many chances to try again and shouldn’t be discouraged by one ‘bad’ run.
I think that is also one of the reasons why I love running. It’s always challenging and you never really know what to expect.
Try guided runs or run with a partner
I did some guided runs at the beginning of last year and like to squeeze some in between my normal ones from time to time. The Nike Run App has some good ones, including my favorite Headspace runs. I did the Headspace runs at the beginning and they really helped me get started (they start at 7 minutes too, I believe).
Instead of guided runs, you could also run with a partner. I could imagine that running with a partner is really motivating and entertaining at the same time. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anyone to run with (come on, friends!!), so I am not sure if I would like it or not but I would love to try it.
Listen to the right music/podcast
In the morning I love listening to podcasts. For me, they set the right mood for the day and I love learning something new or listening to inspiring people or funny stories. In the afternoon and evening, I usually don’t listen to podcasts but to music. I really enjoy this Spotify running playlist.
Some other little tips and tricks to have in mind:
SHOES: Before I got running shoes last Christmas (I have this model. It works for me but might not work for you) I did a running analysis at the running shop I bought my pair of shoes. Basically, they analysed my running style and then looked for the perfect shoe fit. I would definitely recommend doing an analysis to prevent injury from running with wrong shoes (oh, and it was for free!).
SOCKS: Don’t forget about socks. Socks can be really important as you can get really painful blisters from wearing the wrong ones. Maybe try some at the store and then pick the ones you like and try if they work for you before investing in too many pairs.
CLOTHES: You have no idea how often I overthink the way I am running, the way I look while I am running, my red face etc. Sometimes it gets to a point where I have to take a break (or run faster hehe), take some deep breaths and remind myself that all of it doesn’t matter. I always turn red very fast. It doesn’t matter if the run is hard or easy and that is something I feel very self-conscious about (but I am working on it). What has helped me is choosing clothes I feel comfortable in. I really like these leggings. For tops, I honestly just use what I have. I don’t own any specific running shirts or tops. The most important thing to remember though is that it doesn’t matter how you look. I know it’s easier said than done and I personally am still struggling with it but at the end of the day, no one cares and it’s just about getting a good workout in.
EXPLORE: Use runs as an opportunity to explore. I tend to always run the same route but it’s actually really fun to explore and find new paths.
BREATHING: Don’t forget to breathe. It’s so important to focus on your breathing to prevent feeling stitches. The guided runs really helped me figure out how to breathe while running.
CONSISTENCY: Maybe set yourself a goal of running twice or three times a week (make it realistic though). A routine is very important to get your body used to running. As always, consistency is key.
JUST START: You can do it, I believe in you and now, let’s run!