|Quote by Scott Tinley|
Sun and heat are my Kryptonite, but I won this round.
I've been thinking lately that I'm in another growth stage, and while sometimes I feel I'm starting from zero, there are definitely things I benefit from knowing now that I didn't know when I first began.
When I began running, I wish I knew...
1. Every run is not going to be the epitome of freeing/awesome/spiritual. Conversely, every run is not going to be sluggish/painful/shuffling/draining. Running is 90% mental.
|I wish I had known progress was slow-going, even once you've gotten some races and long runs under your belt. Running takes work.|
3. Strength-training is so important! Even if you're just doing squats and leg lifts, keep your hips, butt, and core strong to avoid injuries, especially in the knees. On a related note: a foam roller will become your best friend and the best $24 you've ever spent.
|To see more about my hip-strengthening routine, click here!|
5. The right shoes are everything. Have your gait tested, check into the store's return policy, and don't settle for something that costs less if your feet protest the decision. Also, learn to lace your shoes in a way that's comfortable for you. Look into orthotics if necessary, and remember to track your miles, because depending on what surface you run on, you'll need new shoes every 300 to 600 miles.
|I wear the Asics Kayano, but that doesn't mean they're right for everyone.|
6. Baby powder, Vaseline, Blister Block...apply liberally. Chafing happens, and sometimes it's permanent.
7. Name brand running clothes are nice splurges, but Target sells some pretty awesome gear. Shoes should be expensive; the other stuff doesn't have to be.
8. Black bottoms are key, especially if you have a nervous race bladder.
9. Pee before you run. Scratch that. Pee multiple times before you run.
10. Neon socks, bras, tops, etc, make you faster. This is a proven scientific fact, people.
|Someone should really do a study on that, but I guess it would be pointless since we all already know what the outcome would be.|
12. The right music can change a run. Keep your playlist updated and mix up the order of the songs once in awhile to keep it from getting stale. And don't be afraid to run unplugged once in awhile, either.
13. Running before the sun comes up and running in the rain will make you feel super hardcore.
14. Learning to eat the right foods at the right time takes some trial and error. Running on empty can be just as terrible as running on a too-full stomach.
15. Running groups are usually less scary than they seem; they love to welcome new people, and the friendships you'll make with other runners are some of the most intimate you'll ever have.
Bonus: I wish I had known that running can become an addiction, a go-to cure for all that ails you, a spiritual and mental respite from your hard days, a way to celebrate your good days, and, simply put...a way of life.
What do you wish you had known when you were a new runner?
What valuable things have you learned?