Saturday, April 14, 2012

my running advice

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I've had some friends ask me about running. Either they are just beginning or trying to do long distance runs. I was excited to give my advice since I feel like I've tried it all since I started running in 2006! So this is what works for me.
1. Grab a running partner. Andrea was mine when I 1st started.
Country music 1/2 marathon 2007
She had completed a 1/2 before. One day we were talking about running and BOOM---we started training together for the St. Jude 1/2 in the fall of 2006. It helped me be accountable for my long runs. Also, if I was having a bad running day, she would pick me up and vice-versa.
2. Start off slow-a lot of new runners get real excited and burn out too fast.
Remember, it takes time to build up to a run or even do long distance running. I recommend new runners follow this plan from the Memphis Women Run Walk Program. Basically, you start off by running 1 minute, then walking 2 minutes for a total of 20 minutes the 1st week. Increase each week.
3. For long distance running, I followed the plan from Runner's World-Smart Coach. I used the Smart Coach program for my 1/2 and full marathon trainings. It mixes up your running. One week they throw in a tempo run---it is a little bit faster pace for a certain amount of miles. Then they will have you do speed work---running for short time at a VERY fast pace. Then long runs---my favorite because you get to run 2 minutes per mile slower than your normal pace. You feel like a slug, but you have a lot of ground to cover. Then they throw in some easy runs. That is usually a short run.
4. Blisters-are no fun! But they happen. And when they do, stop running! If you are just now starting to walk/run or even starting long runs, you just might get one. I use moleskin for my blisters or blister-to-be. You can get the Walgreen's brand.

It works wonders! It is thicker than a band-aid and it will stay on during the longest of runs. I had the hardest time with a pair of shoes and I used moleskin for about a month until I broke my shoes in. If you have a blister, I suggest cutting the moleskin to form the area and getting some gauze to put over the irritated area (I did this a lot) and you're ready to run again! Ahhhh magic!

5. Invest in good shoes. Go your local running store, like Breakaway Running, and have them fit you for a shoe. I recommend getting 1 size bigger than what you usually wear. I wear a size 7 but a size 8 in a running shoe ( I like Brooks). I also recommend dry-fit socks. You don't want to hold sweat in your feet...and it might cause a blister.

6. Water-drink a lot of it! I used to not drink it a lot but I decided a couple of years ago to start my day off at work with a big glass. Now that is all I drink. For long runs--- I didn't want to carry water with me so I would plan my route, then drive and hide water bottles in the bushes along my run. Some people use the belts but I don't like the extra things to carry.

7. Plan your route-I use MapMyRun to plan my runs.

This really comes in handy when you need to plan a 10 mile run. Before I had my garmin, this would help me to know what mile I was on when I crossed a street. I would write the directions on paper and put it in my pocket so I knew when to turn (and know were to put my water).

8. Energy-If you're running a long run, you'll need to refuel. I've used Gu and Shot Blocks.
The problem with the Gu is that it can stick to the roof of your mouth. I have used it but if I get to pick, I use shot blocks.
These are much better. You get 6 to a pack and I put then in a zip lock bag and put it in my pocket. They are more like gummy bears!

9. Clothes- You can spend a lot of money on running clothes. I catch them on sale and my favorite time to shop is at the St. Jude marathon expo. They have a $9.99 booth and I go crazy there! Anyone can go to the expo, even if you are not running. In the summer,  I like my Asics shorts. I like the ones with a lot of pockets so I can put my shot blocks, extra moleskin, map, and key. In the winter I like tights.

I never thought I'd say that but they are great! Some races these days give away dry-fit shirts for the race tee. Also, be sure to dress 10 degrees warmer than what it is outside. So if it is 50, dress like it is 60. Your body will warm up.

10. Chafing--also no fun! I have never had a big problem with it, only a couple of times. It is nice in the winter because the tights will protect you from chafing. But if it happens, get some Vaseline to rub it in between your legs. Long runs can be brutal! Kyle had to put band-aids on his nipples to avoid chafing. Ouch!

11. Music or no music-If I run with someone, no music. If I am in a race, no music...I like to hear the crowd! But if I am running alone, I like music. I keep it low so that I can hear the cars. I also feed my ear buds through my shirt and then through my sleeve to connect to my iPOD on my arm. I hate having the wire bounce around so I like to keep it in my shirt.

I realize now that I have so much more to share!! But I need to cut this short (ha!). Happy Trails! Here are some pictures of Kyle's weight loss journey!

My fastest half (2:12) and Kyle's 1st 5k (46 mins) in 2007

Kyle and I running the full marathon in 2011!!! Kyle has come a long way since 2007!

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