I have a wonderful guest for you guys today, Emily from Beauty and the Greek! I met her in Fort Wayne last month and she totally kicked that half's ass, but she also has a rockin' blog you should all check out. She's sharing some FAB tips for running that you won't want to miss :)
Hi everyone, my name is Emily, and I blog over at Beauty and the Greek. I'm a twenty-four year old wife, ER nurse, and running newbie. I mostly blog about my running journey, favorite products, recipes, and whatever else is going on in life.
Anyways, I'm so honored that Megan would ask me to write a guest post for her blog. She has a way of writing that makes me want to get off the couch to go workout and redecorate my house all at the same time. Since Megan is an awesome runner, and I'm trying to become an awesome runner, I thought I'd share some of my favorite tips for getting started and actually enjoying running.
First, a little about me. I've never really been a runner. I used to DREAD the days in gym class when I knew we had to run. In high school and college, I would try to go out on a run and end up walking after a minute or two. I was tired, nauseous, embarrassed, had a stitch in my side, and couldn't breathe. How on Earth did people do this? People think THIS is fun?
Well, after 3-4 failed attempts at being a runner, years of boring elliptical workouts, and learning that biking hurt my "hoo-haa" too bad, I decided to give it another shot. In January of this year, I decided that I was going to try it one more time. Fast forward to today, I've done two half marathons, with one more coming up, and a full marathon in December.
Here is what I've learned that helped me not only get better at running, but fall in love with it as well.
1. Count your victories in minutes, not miles.This may be the most important piece of advice that I have ever gotten. I was SO stuck on running a mile without stopping, and I was getting discouraged. I started making my goals 2 minutes of running, then I'd tack on another minute until I reached 10. Soon I was running 20 minutes at a time and then 30. The couch to 5k program didn't work for me, so just adding a minute on little by little was what I did.
2. Slow it down!
I used to laugh at the words "conversational pace." Um... I couldn't even gasp the words, "help me" let alone have a full conversation. Start slow, and don't even give a second thought about what others think. If you're not able to talk in 3-5 word sentences, you're going too fast. Slow it down!
3. Find some music that motivates you.
I run with music whenever I'm running alone but do not when I'm running with others. Music helps to distract you from discomfort and motivate you to keep going. My favorite music comes from Bootie Jams. The music is mostly top 40 with some 80's and other random stuff thrown in. It is up beat and FREE! They put out new music every month, and did I mention it's free?!
4. Give it 3 months.
This is another piece of advice that I've gotten that I believe to be so true. As you run regularly, you change your physiology a little bit. Each time you run, your body has a better idea of what is going on, and it gets easier. It gets easier to take those first steps out the door, too. In three months your mind and body will be more trained, and you'll be ready for my next step.
5. Sign up for a race and let it be known.
|The Greek, me, and my dad at my first race, a 5k in July.|
6. Find a running buddy.
|My aunt is my coach and running buddy. This was taken after our first 16 miler.|
This isn't essential, but certainly helps. Finding someone to keep you accountable will really help in the beginning. Make sure that your buddy is aware of your goals and keeps you positive. Don't let them run too fast and get you discouraged. A running buddy should push you instead of drag you.
7. Keep a journal.
Make sure you write down how much you ran and your time. I love to look back and see my progress. Writing down other details like what you ate, where you ran, and the weather can also help you look for trends and figure out what works best for you. I use the Daily Mile, and I'm always looking for new friends (beautygreekblog).
8. Realize that you will have good days and bad days.
This is something that I'm still struggling with. Just because you exceeded your goal yesterday does not mean that it is the new norm. You will have days where you feel like you're flying and days where it is a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. You have to trust yourself and know that just because you're in a funk that week, you will continue to get stronger.
9. Find what motivates you.
For me, reading blogs motivates me. Reading about running and hearing of other's experiences helps me get my booty out the door. Whether it be a picture, a song, a website, etc., keep it handy, and use that when you need a boost.
10. Reward yourself!
|Parking my butt on the couch and eating Subway is my favorite reward.|
Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have a tradition of getting a tuna sub after runs 10 miles and longer. Last weekend, on my 18 miler, I swear I could see that sub rising from the horizon. I was running to it. You don't have to reward yourself with food. You can reward yourself with a new running top, a bubble bath, a new song on iTunes. These are all things that I've used to help me meet my goals.