How do you know you’re a runner?
Is it the fancy decal proudly rubbed onto your back windshield? Or the magnet clinging to your bumper that declares you a runner? Perhaps it’s the tread on your well traveled running shoes….
Wonder what makes a runner and how to be one?
Find the nearest exit…open the door and walk out. When it slams shut, take a deep breath and start your run. Run as far as you can. Run at your pace. Stop when you want. Then, look back to where you came from and smile. Pat yourself on the back and own that new title. You are now a runner.
Tips for running…
Create playlist. Music will keep you moving. Music will motivate you. It will renew you, better your pace and help set time limits on your run.
Practice intervals. Running doesn’t always mean a consistent pace of jogging. If you’re training for distance don’t just assume long runs will get you there. There’s power in intervals. Sprint straightaways and jog curves. Sprint every other light post, mail box, street sign, mile. Make running fun for you.
Learn to breathe. Find your rhythm. Inhale through nose, exhale through mouth. Continue this method through the entire run. Slowing down your pace when needed. This will prevent and calm cramps.
Dress right. Choose layers for colder temps and wrap them at waist when you warm up. Invest in arm bands for iPods, keys, Chapstick. Find a water bottle (similar to mine). Choose breathable, dry-fit styled clothing. Pull hair back. And, of course, pamper your feetsies with proper soles.
Stretch. Every runner knows that function means speed. Every runner also knows that some runs will lead to more soreness and stiffness than others. It is of utmost importance to warm-up/cool-down and include stretches. Stretching at the end of your run will ensure that you maintain correct posture and form, enabling speed and light-footed grace. View this video for one of my favorite stretches and more tips.
Find accountability. If running alone, track your progress privately or through social media apps, tell others your story or find a training team and/or run with buddies. Talking about what you’re doing will give you the upper hand and reinforce all that you’ve accomplished.
Pride yourself. Whether you ran one mile or five, one street or an endless country road….you ran. No one can argue “a body in motion”. Praise yourself and commit to doing it again.
Find a decal and rock it. Sign up for a race, I do! All runners will agree that the feeling during a race and at its finish line is so very liberating. Being a part of a running crowd does wonders for your soul and future runs.
Do it again. Your first run may seem like a fail. It’s not. Re-read this if you still think it is. Give yourself time. It takes time to feel your own rhythm. Stick it out. There’s nothing bad about your first run. Well…only if you make it your last run.
Remember when you’re on that open road…it’s your road, your run. Create your course and wear blinders. Give no worries to passer-by’s – they have no clue how far you’ve gone or how fast/slow you’re going. The same applies to treadmill runners. If you’re in the gym, surrounded by other runners…keep on, getting on. Incline, decline, speed up, slow down. You are in control of your run.