When you first start running there are a few things that you will learn fairly quickly. Like, if your hamstring and calf muscles hurt after only a short distance you probably need to actually warm up and do a stretch before you start.
But there are some things that only experience can teach you. I hope this list will help each of you as you start running. Learn from my experience so you don’t have to learn the hard way.
One of the biggest issues I had when I first started running was that I would start out too fast and tired myself out. My muscles and my lungs were not prepared for the fast pace. After I purchased a smart watch that allowed me to track my pace I was able to focus on running a longer duration.
The key starting out is to set a slow pace and just focus on how long you can run. Then build on that over a few weeks.
Once you start hitting a mile without walking, start adding about 10% distance per week. Focus on duration over distance and speed when starting out. A good couch to 5k plan will help.
Then after you reach the ability to Run 3 miles at a slow pace, then start running a little faster pace. If you were running a 12 minute mile speed to Pace up to about an 11.5 minute mile.
Once you can run a 5k at an average pace of under 10 minutes per mile. Then you can start thinking about your goals of increasing your distance or your speed. You will train differently based on your goal.
Pick certain days of the week when you’re going to do your runs then plan your diet based on the days you’re going to run.
Your body will get into a routine of replenishing and rebuilding your muscles if you stay consistent.
I try to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Tuesday and Thursday are for my short runs where I work on speed. And then Sunday is my long run. I eat my big carb meal on Friday night (which is also date night).
- A headband is required if you are running over 2 miles and in temperatures over 60 degrees. Sweat will burn your eyes if you don’t.
- Make sure you are wearing athletic socks, otherwise you will get blisters. I still get them occasionally. Don’t be cheap on the socks. Seriously.
- Never wear long pants when the temperature is over 50 degrees fahrenheit if you plan to run more than 2 miles.
- Never wear long sleeves over 60 degrees.
- If you are running in temperatures under 50, wear long pants but thin. And wear two thin layers on top, not one thick layer. One layer should have long sleeves.
- If you are running in temperatures under 45 degrees wear gloves and a heatgear type pants. And wear a head band and something around your neck for warmth and to protect your skin.
- If you are running in temperatures under 40 degrees, you’ll want to add a third thin layer long sleeve shirt. And add some shorts or leggings to your pants. Put on chap stick and rub Aquaphor or similar product on your cheeks.
- I ran my first half-marathon at 27 degrees fahrenheit and I dressed appropriately. But I saw others stripping off heavy sweatshirts. And some holding their non-gloved hands under their arms. At this temperature, wear a second headband over your nose and ears.
Get the Proper Footwear
Running is not the same as walking around the office. Once you start running, you are putting considerably more weight on your feet because of your momentum on foot plant and probably more steps than you usually walk in a day.
If you are going to be serious about running, go to a shoes store that can check your gate and arch for the proper supporting footwear. Preferably a shoe store that has a treadmill and camera set up to do slow motion analysis on your feet as you run. This is usually a free service at top notch running stores.
If you get the correct shoe it can eliminate the foot and shin pain that some people mistake as shin-splints. I can attest to this as can my wife. Don’t be cheap on shoes.
Being hydrated does not happen only on run day. Proper hydration is an every day focus. However hydration for your long run should start two days prior with electrolytes and up to about two hours before your run.
Don’t drink large amounts of liquid within a couple hours before your long runs. If you do, you will have to urinate and that will break your pace and possibly destroy your chance at a Personal Record (PR) time. Believe me. Sips of water are fine, but no gulps.