So you signed up for a race, and you’re thinking now what?!
I remember the first time I signed up for a “social run” and the fear setting in. My best friend is a runner and at that point I had been crossfitting for a few years. She invited and I was like meh, what the heck, I might as well. Lucky for me, that was fine but since then I have a few things I do to prepare. No more willy nilly running. Preparation helps you with recovery and that’s uber important. You don’t want to be out of commission and not be able to workout afterwards.
As the saying goes “if you run, you’re a runner” so here are my tips as a runner:
Shoes make all the difference. This is the time to head to a running store and get fitted for some fresh pair of kicks. I warn you running shoes aren’t the cutest but that’s not what it’s about. The store associate will size you and asses your stride. I promise you this part is worth the time and money. You’ll feel fast and won’t get injured.
Start running. I know it sounds sarcastic but obviously I mean it with love. If you’ve never ran a race in your life, start slow and with short distances. The key is to start because you’ll want to start building your capacity. This goes hand in hand with creating a plan. I’m not a competitive runner so I’ve always created my own plans. You can find several on Pinterest. The best technique for me is to run Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday with Sunday being the longest run. I work my way up week by week to longer distances. The other days are used to rest or for crossfit/yoga/cycle etc...
Mix up your workout routine. I can’t tell you how much Crossfit has helped me become a better athlete but even then I still need a mix. If you don’t regularly lift weights, you’ll want to throw some squats, lunges, and core stability work. For me, I throw some yoga in to help with stretching and lengthening the muscles. I especially love yoga because it helps open up my hips.
Find a running group. If you’re just getting into running, chances are you are going to need an accountability partner. A running group not only serves as that but also as a way to meet new people. Fitness is always more fun when there are other people to play with. Local running stores have clubs or you can even find social running groups and free runs. Make sure to find one and jump right in. The running community is one of the friendliest!
Lastly, because you’re running so much you’ll want to get your eating in check. You’ll be burning tons of calories so make sure to eat enough and eat nutritious food. I’m talking colorful and don’t forget protein. Your body needs fuel to keep it going so feed it what it craves. I like to say we’re like plants.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. If you’re here and are a runner, share some of your favorite tips! I’d love to hear from you all.