Monday, May 6, 2013

Running 101

I registered to run the Top of Utah Half Marathon in August.  I ran track in high school (sprints) but haven't really ran since then... I've never been one to run long distance.  I've been training and I swear I'm not getting any better, but when I look back at day one I know I have gotten better.  I still have about three and a half months left to train so hopefully I'll be able to make it.  I probably sound like a wimp to some of you but oh well, got to start some where right?
Since I've never been a long distance runner I have been researching different tips to help me work my way up to 13.1.  Here are some of the things I have found that have helped me.

1. Did you know that running shoes only last up to 10 months or 400-500 miles?  Yeah... I have had my running shoes since HIGH SCHOOL from when I ran track!  So yeah, I guess it is about time to get some new ones.  People have told me that there are places that analyze your feet to see what shoe would be best for you.  I guess they are a little pricey but since I have had the same pair of shoes for 6 years, I think it is about time to get a new pair.

2. I've looked at a lot of half marathon training schedules and what I've noticed is that if you run 5 days a week you should make 4 of the 5 runs short. Then one of the runs should be your long one. The reason for this is that the short runs help with speed and improves your endurance.  What I have been doing is running 3 or 4 miles on weekdays and then Saturdays I make my long day.  So far I have only built up to 5 miles but I plan on increasing by one mile each Saturday.

3. Running is completely mental. Which is bad for me because I don't have the mentality for it. But I have even improved in that area as well.  I run and after a few miles I am having an inside battle on whether or not I can actually keep running or if I need to walk for a bit to catch my breath.  Lately I have been able to force myself to keep running and I can keep going until I get back home.  I hate that it is all mental, I wish I could just run 13.1 miles and never get tired.

4. Running outside is harder than on a treadmill.  This past semester at USU I took a jog/walk class (you literally jogged or walked for 50 minutes).  I had built up my endurance and once the weather was warm I decided to run outside.  It was so much harder! I had to walk when I didn't have to on the treadmill.  Hills, uneven terrain, the wind, everything, so much harder.  Then I decided that from then on I wasn't going to run on the treadmill during my jog walk class, I was going to run on the indoor track.  I have seen a definite improvement, I wish I had realized this earlier, but at least I found that out sooner than later.

5. Breathing is super important.  I used to get side aches so fast and would have to walk often to catch my breath and get the side aches to go away.  People told me it was because I drank too much water beforehand. So I then stopped drinking water shortly before working out, that didn't help. Then found out it was because I had been breathing wrong.  I ran sprints in track so I didn't to learn how to breathe the right way (I'm sure it would have helped me run better, but I never learned). So I started "google-ing" how to breathe the right way.  This is one of the websites that helped me the most.

6. Going along with breathing is posture.  After I figured out how to breathe the right way I was able to go a lot further before getting a side ache.  When I got a side ache I would concentrate on my breathing and it would go away.  But then I started getting aches in my shoulders.  This was because I wasn't running the right way.  This is a really good diagram.

7. Did you know that female muscles begin to deteriorate after 24 hours of not working out?! So one day of not exercising means that your muscles have already begun to shrink.  For males it takes 48 hours for their muscles to begin the deterioration process.  I don't work out everyday, so that sucks.  But if you wake up and stretch, do a few sit ups and jumping jacks you should be okay.

8. Stretch Stretch Stretch.  Before and after a run.  I used to only stretch after a work out and I mean, it worked for me.  But when I started researching tips for running I saw a lot about stretching BEFORE and after and how a lot of people neglect the before part.  I started stretching before and it loosens you up, I think it helps my endurance as well.  On my longer runs I sometimes have to stretch a few times throughout the day after my run just because my muscles are so tight.
Here is a link I found of stretches for runners: 

8. Don't compare yourself to others.  I literally went from not running to running.  Sometimes I get down thinking about how other people can already run so much further and faster than I can and how it comes natural to them.  But it doesn't, everyone has to start somewhere.  And although I feel like I am improving very slowly and sometimes I feel like I haven't improved at all, I know I am. 

“I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner." - Bart Yasso


  1. These are such good tips!! Thanks for posting it :) i have always wanted to be a long distance runner but gave into the mental part!

    1. I am seriously the worst! I cannot overcome the mentality of it and it really is the hardest part! I'm glad I'm not the only one that struggles.