Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's Talk About Running


I’ve had a lot of questions about running recently and thought the best way to address them all, would be here. With lots of New Year’s Resolutions in place, I’m sure the treadmill row at the gym and the sidewalks are a little more crowded this month!
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Shoes
Having the right running apparel isn’t just about looking cute –although I am totally of the mindset that having cute workout clothes that fit nicely get you a little more motivated to work out. While workout clothes are more of a personal preference, shoes are not. Number One Rule when it comes to purchasing running shoes – DO NOT buy shoes simply because they are cute. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this. I know I am. While the gray Nikes with the hot pink streaks may be the best looking ones on the shelf, they may not be the best for running…or for your feet. You want shoes that provide a LOT of support AND you want to buy them a half to a whole size bigger than your normal size. Trust me on this one – a lost toenail and a year of bruised toes convinced me of this. I proudly rock my Titanic-size sneakers to all my races now.
Music 
I was recently asked what kind of music I listen to when I run. For me, I run better when I have new playlist. When you’re listening to the same old songs you know every single word to, it’s easy to become bored quickly and wind your run down early. Personally, I like rap or pop when I run because it keeps me energized. But whatever kind of genre you like, it’s never a bad idea to refresh your list every now and then and add some excitement to your run. A few of my current faves are: Lose Yourself, Without You and Love on Top Img_3211_156109902_large

Munchies 
We all learned it in 3rd grade science……the breakdown of food is what gets converted to energy which your body needs to accomplish things such as running. So, while it’s smart to have something in your tum before going on a run, you want to be wise about your choices. You want to make sure that your snacks aren’t undoing the work you’re about to do. Is that protein bar loaded with sugar? Does it have more calories in it than what you’re going to burn during your workout? Don’t weigh yourself down with a heavy breakfast before a run just because you know you’re about to go into a calorie-burning situation. Same goes for your after-workout snacks. Some good choices – a bowl of oatmeal or oat-based cereal, a glass of skim chocolate milk, a banana, a natural granola bar.   
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Training
This is a topic I always feel a little leary in discussing because I don’t train traditionally. When I trained for my half marathon, I didn’t follow any set plan. I’m not against training plans because there are so many amazing ones out there. But for me, with my work schedule, I tried to just get a few steady 3-5 mile runs in during the week nights and then do a long run on the weekends – and each weekend, push myself to go a mile farther than I did the weekend before. In the end, you have to find what works best for you.
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Off-Days
While running is such a great exercise for you, it’s not for the every day…Trust me, I struggle with this one! Be sure to give your knees and body a break with a less intense exercise. Doing yoga or Pilates a few times a week has actually been shown to increase your running abilities!
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Set a Goal…Make it Happen
Many times we say to ourselves “Once I can run such-and-such amount of miles, THEN I’ll sign up for that race.” But why wait? Sign up for that race – put it on  your calendar and commit to it. Just like a work deadline, when we know we have something we have to achieve within a set amount of time, it makes us move. Just make sure your goal is realistic. If you’re new to running, a better goal might be to run a 5k before tackling that 10K you have your eye on.  
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And don’t forget to celebrate all your accomplishments and all your miles. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 1-mile-runner or a marathon-er, remember you’re doing healthy things for your heart and body!

Happy Trails Muffins!

XO, A

34 comments:

Jenna said...

Couldn't agree with you more on all of your tips - I also tend not to follow a set training schedule.

I really need to start forcing myself to commit to yoga and pilates once or twice a week - it's just so hard to sacrafice the sweaty calories cardio provides!

xoxo
Jenna

Jess - PrettyPhysicist said...

You're so right about registering for the race. I really *should* register for my 5K, but with my back, I'm afraid I won't be able to do it. But I promise - I'll register as soon as I'm confident that my back can handle it. :)

Meghan said...

Amen! Great tips! I try to follow the same each and every week:)

Britton said...

Happy Running!!! Great advice!! One of my goals this year is to do yoga once a week (or twice if time allows) and so far I am loving it!! It has really helped my running as well!

Katie said...

great advice! It took me awhile to learn the good shoes rule. Now I never stray from my asics! Same pair - slightly different color every year!

Brooke said...

Thanks for the advice, love bug! I need it!

Michelle (michabella) said...

GREAT post :)

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

i've had a cold since thursday so i'm craving my workout! this post did not make me feel any better. hehe. ;) hopefully tomorrow, this girl is hitting the gym!!

and YES, music does drastic wonders for a workout! i cannot work out without my ipod!!

Ashley said...

ash, you are such an inspiration! i totally agree with EVERYTHING on this post! good stuff love :)

Samantha said...

Thanks I love your suggestions. I love working out but the toughest part for me is getting to the gym! When I'm there I love it...Any suggestions for "getting there". Particularly on Mondays and Tuesdays..I have really long days of school! I have ran a half so I know have something in me! Love the blog :)

Angie said...

Totally agree with you on this post! I often get so bored with my music, but once I download new stuff, I find my runs are quicker and a little easier :)

Jamie said...

Yes. Love this post.

Stephanie and Such said...

Yes!

I just woke up and am about to hit the gym and I am SO HAPPY I read this! And thank you for saying you did 3 steady runs during the week and the longer ones on the weekend. My life is so crazy all the time that the "traditional" training doesn't really fir my schedule.

Thanks Ash! Keep posting things like this!

PS I Love NIKES, but they are THE most uncomfortable to run in!

Erin said...

I'm a new follower and just LOVED this post! Two summers ago my guy and I got really into running 5k's and consistently did them for about 9 months. Things got busy and we dropped off the running 'habit' if you will.

Hoping to get a couple 5ks under my belt this spring before trying my first 10k! Thanks for some motivation and wisdom :)

Courtney said...

Love all your tips. Ive been running for a while but this year i wanna do my first half. I done a few races, but not a half marathon. Im a little intimidated but this post gives me good tips. Do you have any pilates DVD suggestions, or do you go to an actual class?

Rissy said...

you are my inspiration!

I am getting back on the treadmill today in my ugly asics for the first time in about a month... yea I cringed typing that.

I better go eat something ; )

xoxo


CarissaExplainsItAll

Alicia Carlson said...

Thanks for sharing. I am running my first half in May and actually got fitted for running shoes, which I would suggest. I went to an actual running store, their prices were the exact same as Dicks or Champs or whatever. They actually watched me walk, figured out the right shoe, and got me in it -- and they are cute :)
Your tips are great! Good luck on your next race!

Carolyn said...

These are all great tips! As a person that's been "trying" to learn to run for the past couple years, I need to pay more attention to all of these! The eating smartly, the taking time off, all of it! Great tips! :)Thanks!!!

Katie said...

Love this Ash! Getting fitted for running shoes is def important. I also think wearing work out clothes are flattering to your body type is important..it makes me feel better about getting up and going to the gym. I want to do a half this yeatr (that is if my knee ever gets better) so I will have to work on the training part!

Kayla said...

SO funny that you posted about this today because I (yes, me) signed up for my first race (a 5K) yesterday! Lord help me! Now on to the shoe shopping! The race is February 25th so I've got time to get my booty in shape!

Bethany said...

Ugh!! LOVE your advice. Thanks so much...!!

jayme said...

i love running but for the past about 6 years, i can't run more than exactly 2.5 miles because i have this crazy intense pain in my collar bone. its really strange, i know, but it is the worst pain i've felt. ouchies.

Young and Fabulous said...

i NEEEEEEEEEDED this

last night I broke down because I was feeling so ugh and lethargic and unmotivated. I just love you!

i 100000% agree music is important! Its amazing how buzz-killing some can be. Like I was jamming the heck out to Flo-Rida one day and all of a sudden it switched to Phantom of the Opera. Literally slowed me down haha

ive recently looked into couch to 5K and need your thoughts! Im not really "couch." Im active...workout a lot. But I suck..totalyl suck..at running. And this C to 5K thing makes you able to run! have you heard of it or think its worth it?!

LOVED THIS
xoxo

J and A said...

Love this post!! :) Perfect tips and totally do able. I toally guys runners just cause they are cute. Darnit. :0 ha ha

Sarah said...

Let's talk about how I'm not running....haha omg it's been a struggle trying to get myself back in the gym! I agree with you though, part of my problem is with my running shoes. I got those runtones in hopes of a quick fix...yeah right. They ended up doing more harm than good. Anyway, I've gotta start getting in shape for that 5k in Atlanta!!!

Tabitha Lynn said...

Soooo true about the half size bigger. Toe nails really should behave.

And I love that blue running top at the beginning. LOVE IT.

ms.composure said...

loving loving loving this post!!

http://infinitelifefitness.com
http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

Julie @ The Smitten Mintons said...

I just started Couch to 5k and I need to take several of these tips into consideration, especially the shoes one! I am SO picky about what shoes look like but really just need to get some comfy ones :)

Alyssa said...

Great tips! The proper footwear is SO important!! I've learned the hard way! :(

Angel said...

love this - so encouraging! maybe one day i'll actually face the real world and run outside. i have no idea if running inside does that much, but i've convinced myself it's better than nothing.

Aimee said...

This was a great post and I am glad were able to address these topics! I need to find some new music for my runs because I've been running more inside due to weather and the treadmill is so boring! Keep up the good running!

meghan said...

Great post! I am so so guilty of buying pretty shoes. I trained for and ran my first half marathon in cute black with purple highlight nike frees. And then I went to a running store to get new shoes and she told me I pronate inwards and was making a bad choice with the frees. Super. I now have really horrible shoes that are a lot more supportive for me to run in.

I started training for #2 in them and then hurt my hip...but I think it was from overuse and increased speed and mileage that did that...not the shoes. I just ran my next half marathon in them and they definitely were more comfortable throughout the race than the pretty ones.

I've started doing yoga too. And I really actually love that. And I spin...

Thank you again for the great post! I love reading about running on non-running blogs...it keeps me motivated.

The Demoiselle said...

Great tips! My friend is 8 months pregnant and she still runs like a champ - she looks great too!

Shayla Y.F.F. said...

Hi Love! As I have told you 27 times I really love your blog and I especially loved this one since I'm becoming a runner!