Mommy Hobbies running: how I started running running tips
by Mommy Hobbies
In my napsack stash
Did another long run Saturday morning. You ever find yourself staring longingly at the roads while you’re driving and imagine yourself running them instead? Embarrassingly enough, I do. More often than I’d like to admit, too.
Saturday I finally ran the roads I’d been dreaming about and they kicked my tail. The first 4 miles were so tough, my legs felt tired and I dropped from an 8:30 pace down to a 10:10 pace. Those durn hills!
My mind started playing tricks on me and I felt like I needed to use the restroom. stupid, stupid. I talked myself out of the mental bathroom I had created and just pushed on, to mile 5, mile 6 and by that time I was feeling, like, completely amazing. My legs loosened up and the roads got a bit easier. How did I get to 7 miles so quickly?? I literally ran like a banshee through that last mile and was kickin’ happy to reach my destination. Got a few bugs in my teeth for the smile on my face. It was no matter though. Oh, did I mention that I had no idea how long my route was to be? I picked a spot on the map and just ran…try it.
But on to more tips and tricks.
Before my runs, my really long ones, I make sure I’m hydrated. A couple days before I’m set to run I drink and drink and drink. Water. I make sure my diet includes very little meat and a lot of carbs. Pasta or breads ) Salads are good too. Too much meat does a number on the intestines. No joke. From all those carbs I get what I need for my brain and body to function. The sugars in those carbs keep me fueled and away from feeling physically and mentally fatigued.
If you’re planning to run more than 75 minutes, make sure you bring along some water, to sip, and maybe some shot bloks, or a protein bar to nibble. Otherwise, it’s safe to just rely on the glycogen our body has stored up to get you through your run. No need, really to eat before your 3 mile, 5 mile or even 6 mile run (depending on the pace you keep).
The key to keeping your body healthy, and I’m just learning about all this myself, is proper foods, stretching, hydration, proper running form and rest. My knees KILL me after a longer run if I haven’t a maintained proper running form. My shoulders are low and loose, back is comfortably straight, no leaning forward or hunching. Knees don’t lie. I can immediately tell if I was slacking on my form as soon as I stop running.
As far as which vitamins to take, I’m not sure there is a set rule on this. I do know, however, that a healthy diet of whole foods can give what is needed to help maintain your body. Find foods rich in calcium, for your bones, iron, for fatigue, and sodium and other electrolytes. I do take fish oil, as a standard, however.
Hope this helps! If you’re looking for support from other mother runners, please consider hooking up with the ladies over at “Run Like a Mother: The Book” on FB. What a wonderful group of fellow mother runners.
Mommy Hobbies running: how I started running tips on running
by Mommy Hobbies
In my napsack stash
*and other bits of information*
From the time I was 16 I gravitated toward running. Late nights spent burning calories off my 110lbs frame. I stopped running for a while and it wasn’t until I moved back East nearly four years ago that I got back in the groove. But this time, I was accompanied by a cross-country runner who knew what she was doing and gave me pointers on how to master this beautiful sport of running.
My first mile back on the roads was the most grueling and stomach churning. I nearly puked in the last three-tenths of the mile but my little buddy wouldn’t let me stop. She said, “puke, but keep moving.” I dry-heaved and stumbled but I didn’t stop. I completed 1.2 miles with a huge gasp and dropped to my back on my front lawn. It was horrible.
But it wasn’t until a few months after I had our second child that I made the real break-through. We were on our nightly walk as a family and I was pushing our baby girl in a huge cumbersome stroller. For some reason I got this crazy thought in my head to start jogging. So I did. I ran up and down these hills with a huge stroller and didn’t quit. That was when I knew I wanted to do more.
My first few runs were only a mile. I didn’t follow any type of plan or schedule but my own. I would increase my runs by a half-mile every couple of weeks. I can’t remember if I ran everyday, but I know that I ran a lot.
The Couch to 5k program suggests running every other day just so the muscles get a break. When you start putting a new kind of stress on your body, it’s better to ease into it. I, too, would run every other day and then I would cross-train on my days off. I would do yoga, Zumba or lift weights. It’s important to cross-train, to strengthen the core.
After every run, I stretch, which is PARAMOUNT, because stretching helps to remove the lactic acid build up in the muscles and reduces the soreness. It also helps improve flexibility and prevent injury on future runs. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good stretch. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve neglected my stretching regimen and regretted it because my next run was horrible. My legs usually feel like large pieces of concrete and I slog through my run…blech.
One of the hardest things to do is to pace. My first year and a half of running, I ran “naked”. That simply means without any type of device telling me my pace, distance, calorie burn…nothing. It was just me and the hills. I soon learned that my runs were the most rewarding if I could pace myself with breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth and in steady intervals. This is how I learned to find my pace.
If I could keep a steady rhythm with my breathing without have to *suck* or *heave* my breath in, then I was good. On the other hand, if I could carry on a girly-girl convo while running, I wasn’t pushing hard enough. My breath needed to be just enough to keep me going. Proper breathing is so important. Your muscles need the oxygen to keep moving and you need it to stay standing!
I hope this helps. Any other questions, please ask! I’m not a pro and am just learning about all of this myself…but I love sharing what I’ve learned.
*next up :: foods to eat for a better running experience, and how I keep my knees from cracking off my body. hah*