In recent posts, I have mentioned running. And before you start groaning, hear me out: running can be a fun and easy way to go on any adventure. However, basic training before you go on the fun runs.
A lot of people do not enjoy running, in fact, most dread running and some complain about it every time. Every time I take someone new to running for a run, I roll my eyes for every complaint I hear. Seriously, almost every complaint I have heard running can be a bad “that’s what she said” joke. And yet, I still enjoy running.
After I realized that I was terrible at team sports, I decided to give running a try. Although I used to dread running a mile in junior high, I joined my high school cross country team. My first run sucked, and it was three miles. I had to stop a lot and I was practically begging for water by the end of the run. Many times at the beginning of my running career, I wanted to quit, but I liked the people that I ran with and I realized that anything is hard at first, so I stuck with it. After a few months, I gradually became faster and I could run farther without needing a break. It was a struggle to get to that point, but I eventually enjoyed running. Soon enough, I could run far without being too sore the next day. In my personal experience, running has a lot of benefits that far outweigh negative things people tell you.
You can run in almost ANY weather. I have gone running in scorching heat (about 105ºF/40ºC) to frigid cold (about -22ºF/-30ºC) and not experience problems as people say. When it is extremely hot outside, it is crucial to be hydrated throughout the day. On hot days when you are running, you should drink about 3-4 liters throughout the day. Sure, you may need to use the restroom a lot, but at least you won’t be dying of thirst by the end. In the cold, you may not need as much water, but it is still good to be hydrated. (My basic rule for hydration is, if your urine is clear, you are in the clear for being hydrated.) If you are prepared, the weather will not affect you as much; you will not be likely of heatstroke and your lungs will not freeze (trust me.) Just enjoy the surroundings.
I firmly believe that we are all “born to run” as Christopher Mcdougall (author of Born To Run) emphasized. If you don’t believe me, read his book. You don’t have to run barefoot, but he does mention proper running form (which is very important.) If you have good form, you can go farther and reduce your likelihood of injury. I recommend the toe-heel running stride, but enough that your foot strike (where your foot first hits the ground) is between your mid-foot and balls of your feet. If you want to know more, I highly recommend McDougall’s book; it is a good read.
Finally, getting started with running, there are “Do’s” and “Don’ts”to running.
- Find a good pair of running shoes that work for you.
- Have proper form when running.
- Eat lots fruits and veggies
- Track your progress (how far and how fast)
- Run at a constant pace/beat
- Be positive
- Enjoy the scenery
- Eat before a run (I recommend waiting, at least, 2-3 hours before you go run)
- Skip a run because you’re sore
- Sprint when you feel like you are going to pass out (someone did that with me, and they blacked out; it was a nightmare)
- Start fast
- Complain (even if you are joking, it only makes it worse. Trust me.)
- Make a lot of stops (you will get lactic acid buildup and go slower)
- Run with weights
Follow those simple “Do’s” and “Don’ts” and you will be off to a great start. You don’t have to be the best or the fastest, just run at your pace. It helps to run with people at similar levels as you (dogs included) so that you will be pushed to maintain pace even when you are tired. You will also be doing the same thing for the other person for when they get tired. I recommend, to start off your run with a comfortable pace and slowly build up to a faster pace. That way, you are constantly challenging yourself and trying to work past your difficulties.
Running is personalized, it is a sport that focuses on your improvement. The only way to get better is simply just to do it. When you improve enough, you can find the fun long trails with magnificent sights near you and go exploring.