My best friend, Megan, and I are preparing for our first ever 5K! It is the Color Me Rad 5K, and believe me it is awesome. To get me to run it would have to be!
Feel free to skip over this post or laugh in derision if you are an experienced runner. This post is for the newbies. Seriously, you runners make it look so easy. I thought ok, I see these people run all the time, I can do that too. All I need is running shoes and I'm good. Wrong. Oh. So. Wrong. So as I was “running,” I decided that I needed to write up a guide for those of us not born to be on the track team.
Can I just stop here and say although I do work out regularly, I do not run. I probably haven't seriously ran since high school and even then I cheated the mile system. C'mon they used straws to count your laps, just don't turn them back in at the end of class! Err I mean do your best and just keep up the good work…
Before you can get started, you need to get outfitted:
- Lightweight running shoes
- Clothes (gloves and ear muffs/headband are a must in cold weather)
- Couch to 5K Running App
- Armband for my iPhone (can't run without a killer playlist) We found this TuneBand iPhone Holder on Amazon that was pretty inexpensive with good reviews. They make them for iPhone 4/4s, 5, and Samsung Galaxy.
- Headphones that stay in your ears. Love these over the ear headphones by JVC
- Tissues. I don't know about you runners in warm climates but here it is cold and the first day out I needed a tissue. I will spare you the gross details but lets just say it wasn't attractive.
Ok not really. You can get all dolled up but having the right clothes and wishful thinking is not going to get you pass the finish line. Unless of course your ultimate plan is to finish on a stretcher. I am assuming of course, that like me you want to say “Heck yeah I did it!” without the help of paramedics. So let's get started.
I was nervous and excited to start out that first Monday. Nervous partly because hey I am not a runner and also because I have Zumba Monday night and I was pretty positive my legs were going to hate me. And they did but I got over it with the help of yoga stretches and my other best friend, the heating pad. The important fact here is it did not kill me, so my long standing fear that running would be the death of me was unfounded. Now I have no excuse.
If you are not normally active at the gym then please ease yourself into this. The Couch to 5K training is a great program for beginners but even so you might have to work your way up to it if you are literally going from your couch to running. It is ok to embrace your limits, everyone has to start somewhere.
Here are some tips and tricks that I have discovered along the way, either by trial and error or from more experienced friends.
1. Drink plenty of water and try to drink a glass before you go out. This is not only a good tip for running but for life too.
2. Stretch Stretch Stretch! Did I say stretch? Before and after the run, especially calves and quads.
3. Run outside when possible. We run 3 days a week and have picked out 3 different locations to run. That helps the body stay on its toes and us from becoming bored with the whole thing.
4. Upbeat playlist. This is a controversial tip with some runners. I personally enjoy running to music, especially some fun dance music. Other people think that it slows you down. I say do what works for you.
5. Watch your posture. Keep your head up and your back straight.
6. Running Shoes. Trust me, shoes make the difference. If you can, go to a running store and get your gait profiled. They can then recommend specific shoes perfect for you.
Wish me luck! I will keep updating my progress as I train for this 5K. So far I have completed two full weeks and I am running around a 12 minute mile. Like I told a friend today, I'm like the tortoise but I will make it across the finish line!
Do you run? Have any tips or tricks to add?