Do you run? Living here in Atlanta, there is always a 5K or some kind of running event going on. Well, heck, there are literally thousands that participate in the Peachtree Road Race every Fourth of July. Many of you have asked us for some tips on how to prepare to participate in a running race or if not a race, at least a run at the many beautiful parks we are lucky to have right here in our own backyard! So we have gathered some of the best running tips for non-runners and hope that this will help you in your journey with running.
1. Buy good running sneakers. You don’t need to go out and buy “super crazy expensive sneakers”. You should buy those after you decide that you like running! Or, if you decide that you dislike running, you should still keep running. You will learn to love it! =)
2. Get some music to listen to. Or a friend. You do not want to be bored when you run, so you will need something (or someone) to distract you! You can change your playlists as often as you like, or listen to your all time favorites. (for some reason, “Eye of the Tiger” comes to mind, simply for motivation purposes!)
3. When you first start out, run the same route. It’s like a mind game, and it works. Take note of where you get tired. Where do you have to stop and walk? Maybe the first week, you only make it to the stop sign. The second week, maybe to the big peach tree. The third week? The brick house. Every week you run, push yourself a little further. Eventually you will think to yourself, “Wow, I remember when I could only make it to the big peach tree”! Geez, that was nothing… 😉
4. Talk to yourself. When you feel like walking, ask yourself why. Are you bored? Are your legs tired? Is it hard to catch your breath? If you’re not going to fall over, push yourself a little further. Usually, when you feel like stopping, your probably just bored. That’s when you should remind yourself that running is faster than walking so you should run to get it over quicker. lol
5. Pace yourself. Concentrate on the music you are listening to. Music tends to make you go at different speeds, depending on whether you are listening to rap, rock, country, whatever. For instance, if you are listening to the Ramones, you will more than likely run faster than if you are running to Billy Joel. Ideally, if you listen to a regular mix of like music, you will run at a more consistent pace. It’s just something to take into consideration. Mixing it up isn’t a bad idea if you feel like sprinting, then walking, then jogging, etc. But that’s not what running should be like….running at a consistent pace is a good thing!
6. Take note of your body. Watch what you do when you are running….are you clenching your jaw? tightening your shoulders? Running is not just a leg-only sport. You will figure that out the day after your first run. Listen to your body, and make sure you are not being too hard on yourself. You will definitely feel sore (arms, back, sides, legs, etc) the day after your first run. Make sure you take a break and then you can start running again.
7. Pick your theme song! Find a song that gets you pumped and has the perfect tempo and lyrics for you. When you notice that you’re getting tired, follow these guidelines:. You can’t stop running during your song! That’s it! That’s our only rule! Tell yourself that you cant stop running during YOUR song unless you fall down.
One final and very important tip is to always stretch before you begin to workout. Stretching can do a number of things to improve your health and fitness. When done correctly before a workout, stretching can help you reduce the risk of injury during exercise; this is because it gets your blood flowing to your muscles and prepares your muscles to work through their full range of motion. By increasing your blood flow, your muscles and cartilage will be supplied with nutrients, therefore better circulation throughout your body.
So, there you have it; some useful tips to start you on your running journey! So, who’s ready to give it a try?
If you would like to find out more about upcoming races in the Atlanta area, please visit the Run Georgia website at http://goo.gl/q20Dl
Committed to your fitness,
The GetFitNow Team