If you would have asked me a little over a year ago if I would ever become a long distance runner my answer would have definitely been “Are you kidding me?” I have always hated running with a passion. I couldn’t even run to the mailbox without getting tired when I was younger. I was always in great shape since I was a ballerina since I was 3 years old but running used totally different muscles and I just honestly sucked at it so bad. I’ve always been pretty competitive so if I wasn’t good at something I usually would just move on to the next thing.
It wasn’t until I went through a divorce and then after that a another relationship ended I decided to do something crazy. I decided to run! ( I needed to do something just for myself. Something that seemed unreachable and impossible) I started running little by little. ( I’m talking a half mile at a time) and then I decided to do something even crazier.. train for a half marathon! I ended up running a half marathon last year in February in Austin, TX and I fell in love with running not just that day but every day during months of training.
The days I wasn’t running I felt even a bit grouchy because I got use to the endorphins and the runners high ( yes, it’s a real thing!) on the days I was running that it just became something I was obsessed with.
So, from someone who totally sucked at running to then a year later running a half marathon I’m here to give you some tips on how to go from zero to hero!
- ) START WITH SHORT DISTANCES- Start with a half mile. Don’t shoot for the stars and start with a two mile run. When I started even one miles was difficult. Go for a half. Set a small goal like this you can actually achieve so you will be happy with your results and then you will be more inclined to keep trying.
- SLOW DOWN– As I said earlier.. I’m a naturally competitive person and this isn’t always a good thing when it comes to long distance running. I trained a lot on the Town Lake Trail in Austin where tons of people are running and every time someone would pass me I had to them pass them! ( I know, I’m crazy.) Anyway, this didn’t last that long because I wore myself out. There are some freaking FAST runners in Austin! ( slow down people.. you’re killing me!) Anyway, I decided to go at my own slow pace and then I realized I could go for a lot longer. My half mile became one mile, then two, three and so on.
- STOP FOCUSING ON BREATHING– I remember when I started running I would get side aches and I felt like if I focused on my breathing and every three strides I would breathe in and then out for another three strides I would be okay. It turns out I was obsessing over my breathing so much that I just became exhausted even sooner. Once I just stopped thinking about breathing and I just let it happen naturally I noticed how much more relaxed my entire body was and my side aches went away.
- LISTEN TO MUSIC– This isn’t for everyone because some people like to listen to the birds or just the sounds of nature.. but I NEED music. I use Spotify and I’ve created a few running playlists I absolutely love that always make me want to run and they also make me happy! Running should be a happy thing so why not listen to some tunes that pump you up while running? I love to go under “Browse” on Spotify, then to “Work Out” then I click on the “Dance Workout” playlist. No joke, I sometimes bust a move while on my run because how can you not hear Beyonce?
- NO PAIN, NO GAIN IS BS!- I seriously hate when people say this. If you’re hurting.. listen to you body and take a break. If you have knee pain or any joint pain, take glucosamine. It’s basically a heaven sent vitamin for runners. I actually tore my meniscus during my half marathon and was told I would need surgery. I started taken glucosamine and my knee was fine in just two weeks. No joke! But for real, if you’re super sore and tired, relax. Don’t run every day. Give your body a break.
- WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR- My favorite running shoes are Brooks and Nike and I have to have a good pair of running socks that don’t fall off mid run! Another thing that is a must for me are shorts that stay in place. I have long legs and shorts are always way too short on me. I have tried so many running shorts and they seriously ride up and I’m giving everyone a free show. Pretty awkward! Also I end up pulling my shorts down every 3 seconds instead of just focusing on my run. I finally found this pair of Under Armour shorts that stay in place and have built in underwear as well.. which rocks!
SHOP ALL MY FAV RUNNING GEAR BELOW:
So, are you a runner? Or are you thinking about starting? I say, go for it! Don’t take it too seriously, have fun with it and follow my tips! Let me know in the comments below where you are on your journey with running and what are some of your tips!