My 5 Tips For New Runners!
Running for sport and fun is something new to me in the last few years. During that time I discovered 5 tips to to make becoming a runner easier, so here they are!
5. Make Sure To Warm Up!
The warm up phase is key to a good run. I like to do functional movements and walk at first. What do I mean by functional movements? Try swinging your legs front to back and side-to-side helping to warm up stiff muscles. Throw in a few butt kicks and high kicks to get the blood flowing. Then start jogging at a very slow pace. If you do not warm up properly you will put a lot of stress and strain on your body.
Skipping a good warm up greatly increases the likelihood of injury. Also you can cramp up or not be able to ‘get in the groove’ which over time can cause you to put up mental blocks and drain your endurance. I always tell my patients to be smart when it comes to training to “slow down to speed up”. So plan on at least an extra 5min to get your body ready to go!
4. Make Sure To Cool Down!
Cooling down is just as important as warming up! I find that many athletes warm up properly but do not take the extra time to cool down after their activity. This adds up and causes issues over the long term. It can create muscle tension, knots, and lead to muscle imbalance. Giving your body the chance to release any tension that might have built up during your activity is key. If you were just running, give your body at least 5min of walking to help your heart rate decrease naturally. Static stretching and foam rolling will help elevate any built up muscle tension. Most of the muscle imbalances I see in my office could be eliminated if patients took the time to stretch properly.
3. Proper Hydration
Proper hydration is very important and not just while your running. Make sure you are adequately hydrated before you start. A large percentage of your body is just that, water! You wouldn’t run an engine without oil right? If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink water, you’re already dehydrated. Double check when you hit the head: if it isn’t mostly clear, then you have some H2O to down. I also recommend waiting after you drink a bunch of water before you run. A full belly of water is no fun to slosh around, so make sure you plan ahead and drink all day long. That is something you should be doing for a healthy lifestyle already…
Understand your metabolism to maximize your training. If you are planning on running longer then an hour then you need to have something with you to consume for calories and to replenish fluids. Make sure what you are fueling you body with something that contains electrolytes. Electrolytes are critical since you are sweating out not only water but also salt. When you see or hear about marathon runners passing out, it isn’t from “dehydration” as many think. It is actually from lack of electrolytes or sodium in their system. Salt holds water and when you sweat it out, the less water your body can hold. This imbalance is what causes major issues.
Personally I love the Honey Stingers brand. They have awesome organic crews that hit the spot for me! Make sure to try out different options and find what works best for you. Also, do not make race day the first day you try this. You need to get used to eating and like what you are eating. Trying to down a GU on race day when it is warm for the first time was not my idea of fun.
1. Most Importantly….. Have Fun!
Running should never be something you “have” to do; it should be something you enjoy! When it becomes a chore that is when you are more likely to get injured. You have to have a positive attitude and remember the reasons you wanted to start running in the first place. Can’t get in the mood? Try signing up for a new race or find some running friends. Becoming active in your local running community is a great way to make new friends. Don’t be nervous about getting out there no matter how fast or slow you may be. There will always be someone faster and slower then you, trust me. If you don’t have a close local running group you can join either create one or become part of the online community. We are always accepting of runners in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. #TeamSparkle #SweatPink #WeRunSocial and many more!
Much love in your new adventure,
❤ Dr. Carrie