I have suffered with a love hate relationship with running for many years. It just sucked! Every time I would run it felt like there was lead was in my shoes, my chest was so tight, I was having a million stomach cramps and don’t even get me started on the sports bra. I would see people running by me and think: “What is their secret?” For years I tried to be a runner and it was not working. I get so many emails and questions about running so I know that many of you out there are in the same boat. Here is an article I wrote about 6 steps you can take to start running. Today, however I want to share the top 3 reasons you hate to run and show you how to overcome them.
Your outfit is all wrong
Being comfortable when you run is BEYOND important. I can’t tell you how many times I gave up on a run because my thighs were rubbing together, my sports bra was non-existent and my shirt kept riding up. The key to running wear is SUPPORT. Chances are if your just starting out your body has areas that jiggle. My problem areas were my breast and my thighs. So I found an extremely good sports bra (it is a Champion bra with underwire) and I tend to run in compression pants or capris (something that covers my thighs). The best running clothes are form fitting. Wearing baggy t-shirts and pants is just going to create drag and make you feel like a novice. Invest the money to get something that is going to support you. Clothes make a HUGE difference and you will feel great about how you look.
You get tons of cramps and pains while you run
Cramping and pain is very common if you are new to running. I felt my body was trying to right me for making it work. I used to always get stomach cramps and side stiches. In my case it was because I ate too much too close to my run or I was dehydrated. My solution is not eating a meal at least 3 hours prior to running; I may have a Clif bar or a half of peanut butter sandwich but not a full meal. Additionally, I make sure I have enough water. That side stich I used to get was because I was dehydrated so I make sure before every run I drink at least 108oz of water the day before and 45oz right before I run. Cramping is also caused by loss of salt in your body, you can remedy this by drinking something that is high in electrolytes (coconut water or sports drink) prior to running. If you are going to be running for a long time you may consider taking a salt pill which I take prior/during long runs.
Setting your goals too high
I was always a victim of trying to run 10 miles on the first day out. The years I struggled with running were the years I set impossible standards for how much I should run. I would kill myself one week and not enjoy running at all and then I would take a 3 month break from exercise all together. You have to be patient with your body. My biggest advice for someone new to running is to run for time in the beginning. Set a goal of running for 5 minutes without stopping and then build. After a month you will be surprised at how far you have come. My favorite website for running programs is Hal Higdon’s guide to running a marathon he has a plan for every level: http://www.halhigdon.com/
Becoming a runner was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Make the commitment to press through all the obstacles in the beginning and you will be so happy with the end results. ROX on!
What is your biggest issue with running? What trials have you faced since you started running? What advice would you give to someone just starting out?