So, here it is Saturday morning, and my famous last words all week were I am not running the local 5k this weekend due to work, helping organizing a 5k for my son's school that takes place next week, and such...... well, that was just a bunch of blah! blah! blah! LOL!
Had friends running, and it was an inaugural 5k that supports the 2 local high school teams........ how could I not represent the high school that I attended my senior year?!? Yes, only attended my senior year, but I still graduated from Lowndes High! So, I set the alarm..... had to dig through my dresser drawers to find my Lowndes High t-shirt to wear!
There was even a Chik-fli-A Cow sporting Lowndes High colors!
As I ran, I am not sure what got me thinking back to when I first started running......I have only been running for 3 1/2 years and I AM NOT EXPERT!! Just want that to be clear! Well, I got thinking about what tips would have been nice to have known when I started out... seriously, a 5k was my only goal when I first started running and now I have a few half marathons under my belt and thinking about a full.... anyway, the following are my PERSONAL tips for anyone new to running and planning on a 5k:
1- NO FUEL NEEDED!!!!! I use to read all these articles about fueling prior to running. Confusing! YOU DO NOT NEED TO FUEL for a 5k (3.1miles). You have enough stores to run a 5k. If anything, eat a banana 30-60min prior, but you actually don't need anything. Seriously, you have enough stores for 1 hour of running. (Again, I am no expert, but I believe this)
2- YOU DON'T HAVE TO RUN THE ENTIRE DISTANCE!!!!! As a new runner, I trained for 8 weeks because I thought it would be frowned upon if you walked any part of the distance. Not sure if I thought race directors would slap a BiG DQ (Disqualified) next to my name or what if I walked. What I have found is everyone supports everyone! It doesn't matter if you walk, skip, jog, or run.... the crowd at the finish line cheers you on and you feel like a ROCK start crossing!!!!!!
3- YOU NEED VASELINE!!!!! Or body glide. CHAFING is not a pleasant and is very annoying!!!! If you are a lucky one and don't experience this, well be glad that you have never felt the shock and burn of stepping into a shower after running and suddenly realizing every area of your body that has be affected by chafing! Common areas are the inner thigh, arm pits, nipples, buttocks, etc..... I have to vaseline my balls of my feet and toes to prevent blisters..... I buy Vaseline by the tub!!!!! No joke!
4- YOU WILL HAVE GOOD RUNS & BAD RUNS!!!!! Do NOT get discouraged just because one day you have a AWESOME run and make a PR (personal record), and then some days later you have an awful run that makes you want to quit! Bad runs are just as important as good runs! Consistency is the key and the most important thing is that you ran!
5- RUNNING SHOES ARE MOST IMPORTANT RUNNING ATTIRE! Size up 1/2 size! The feet swell about 20-30 min into running! Need room for this in the shoe. Also, some of the fancy running shops have experts to analyze your running form and pick a shoe good for you! Happy feet will keep you running without blister and black toenails that fall off! LOL!
6- TRUST A TRAINING PLAN!!!!! Training plans are made by expert runners! (Remember I am not an expert) Training plans like those by Hal Hidgon are designed to reach your goals and hopefully avoid injury. Yes, training plans often only have 3 runs on week days and then have you running on weekend... rest days incorporated to allow for recovery and PREVENT injury! Running everyday may lead to overuse injuries and such! When I first started I was eager ..... ran everyday and end up needing to see an ORTHO specialist! TRUST A TRAINING PLAN!
7- WEATHER DOESN'T MATTER!!!!!!! Sunny= you run. Cloudy= you run. Raining= you run (unless lightening, then delay your run that day) Weather does affect how you run, but it does not prevent you from running! I made the HUGE mistake when I started running with asking the race director/timing person how runners would be notified if a race was cancelled due to rain.... I got a lengthy response of how rain does not stop a race.... lightening delays race... hurricane delays race.... and that in 20 years only 2 races had to be cancel.... LOL! Lesson learned!
8- TO WEAR THE RACE SHIRT OR NOT----well, this is solely a personal issue! It doesn't matter if you wear the race shirt you receive for registering for the race or not.... but most say, "DON'T WEAR"..... I say DO WHAT YOU WANT! LOL!
9- DO IT FOR YOU!!!! This is the BEAUTY of running!!!! You DO NOT have to be the first one across the finish line to win! NOPE!!! When you set a PR (personal record) by running your best time, you win!!! Each time you run a course and beat last years time, YOU WIN!!!! It is a great feeling! Your only competition really is YOU!!!!! Also, if you have non-running family or friends that don't show up to see you cross the finish line, it doesn't matter. You run for YOU! This isn't about anyone else!
10- MOST IMPORTANT!!! YOU WILL SURVIVE a 5K (3.1 miles) Honestly, no matter what, you can walk, jog, or run a 5K!!!! All you have to do is get the mind set and put one foot in front of the other!!!! Trust me, once you cross a finish line, you will be hooked!
gotta run.... UNTIL LATER
Do you have any additional beginner running tips to add to my list? Do tell.......
Run today? 5k? 10k? Half marathon or Full?