You should know that I am not an expert. In fact, before November 4th, 2013, I had never been a runner so this advice/these tips are what worked for me as a new runner. I have gone over 600 miles since starting in November and have had to take quite a few days off due to injury so remember, these are my experiences that you get to learn from. :)
First thing first: SOCKS! I had no idea that the socks mattered as much as they do. In January, I wanted to start the year off with a bang by running a lot. I mean, I had 1,000 miles to go, so I thought I'd get a jump on things. Little did I know, I would have to take a couple days off because I had blisters on every. Single. Toe. My feet took such a beating and I couldn't figure out why until some friends suggested I get better socks and what a world of difference they have made!! I bought 6 pairs of these (different fits available) and they are amazing.
STRETCH! Just a short time ago, I experienced bursitis which is inflammation in the bursa sacks in your hip joints. Your IT band begins to fray and constant rubbing of that frayed muscle on the joint causes this inflammation. I am not a health expert. I'm in marketing. This is just my understanding of it after speaking with my healthcare professional. MY professional opinion on the topic is this: HURTS LIKE HECK!
The best way to stretch the IT band (again, something I learned from my HC person, check with yours to see if they agree) is to get a foam roller (sold at Target among other places). Between that and icing, I was able to alleviate most (and now all) of the pain. Rest is always beneficial too which I learned the hard way.
|Image found here. And you should probably read the article. :)|
Eat before you run. Not a giant Thanksgiving dinner by any stretch, but even just a banana! It may be a mental thing, but I truly believe that before any workout, you have to give your body the energy it needs to perform at its best. Re-fuel before you run out of fuel. :)
Create a good play list! At the Half Marathon a couple weeks ago, I decided to listen to Imagine Dragons and it was an AWESOME Pandora station. That's my recommendation. It totally got me pumped for almost two hours of running.
The last thing that's worked for me is my Garmin watch. My husband bought it for me a few weeks ago and I LOVE it!!! I got the Garmin Forerunner10 and it is the greatest thing ever. My only complaint is that it sometimes takes a while to find my location. Otherwise it's awesome. You can set your pace which allows it to alert you when you are on, ahead of, or behind pace by beeping. It also tells you your distance, calories burned, running time, and how long it took you to complete each mile with an overall average pace. You can then go online and look at a map of your run which also goes through the weather conditions, a line graph of your pace, and a number of other things. Seriously, I can't say enough great things. I love it.
|Here. This is also where I got the watch!|
There you have it. MY recommendations for making running fun (and bearable) :).