About 2 years ago I decided it was my time to transform myself for the benefit of my health and my family. You can see my post about this here (how I lost 30kg). I took up running during my weight loss campaign as a way to burn more kilojoules, but I soon developed a love and passion for the sport. I don’t know if it is a personality attribute or character flaw, but I often get consumed by the activity I am doing and get completely caught up in it…this is what happened to me with running. I became addicted to everything running….I read magazines from
and all over the world. I scoured the internet for any information I could find. Australia
Recently, I have noticed a lot of talk on blogs and on twitter about participating in fitness challenges, starting a running program and losing weight. I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt about running (often the hard way, by trial and error).
I truly appreciate that there is more than one way of doing things, but these are some of the things that I found useful. These are the thing I tell my own daughters when we go running..…weather they want to hear them or not!!
- Shoes: I know it’s a bit basic, but it’s really important to have properly fitting shoes suited to your physiology and running style, even though they are really expensive! This can make a lot of different to running comfortably or sustaining injuries.
- Clothing: I’d also recommend getting some running clothes that are made from technical fabrics that breath. Cotton shirts, shorts underwear and bras just soak up sweat, stick, cling, get heavy and stink. They can rub, causing rashes and blisters. It’s even important to have socks made from technical fabric. I find cotton socks really rub and cause painful blisters, especially on longer runs. Compression garments are also great for stopping the ‘wobble’ and I really liked running with the tight sensation around my legs. For some reason it just seemed to make me feel stronger!
- Underwear: This is a personal preference, but I like running shorts with their own built in underwear. These are held in place by the shorts and seemed to stay in the right place! Cotton underwear gets very sweaty, rubs on my legs and leaves very painful chafing…..and I’d always be pulling them out of places that underwear just shouldn’t be!! ( I’d also recommend buying some anti chafing cream, just in case).
- ‘Accidents’: This one might be a tad too much information, but the above chafing was exacerbated by my very weak bladder! After having the 3 kids, my pelvic floor muscles are absolutely shot. When I first started running, I could only run in the morning. before drinking. I also had to run with ‘poise’ protection (causing more chafing!). There is something about the pounding nature of running. and if I happened to cough at the same time …well…. Things in that area have improved over the last 2 years and as long as I empty my bladder before I start, everything should be fine!!
- Eating: Its really important to eat!! For a little while, I thought I would lose weight quicker if I didn’t eat before or after a run. However this deprives your body of the energy it needs to adapt to the training, and recover. There is a small window in time, just after exercise where carbohydrates are quickly converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles to replace the glycogen depleted during exercise. So it’s really important to eat straight after running so that you can recover to your full potential. Eating before a run helps ensure you have the energy to complete your run….particularly if it is a long run. I don’t eat before a short run (5-7km) but I make sure to eat for a long run (for me , a long run is 10-15km). I know what it is like to run completely out of energy. It has happened to me both cycling and running and it is a horrible experience. I get really, really, cold, have pins and needles, I lose peripheral vision, and sometimes even the capacity for rational thought!! It is a state that is best avoided!!
- Recovery time: At the beginning, it’s really, really important to take it slowly and give yourself plenty of time to recover. I remember having difficulty getting out of the car, stepping up gutters. Bending down to pick up things or go to the toilet was best completely avoided. The increase in fitness from training comes from adapting to the training and this takes time. Our body’s need to recover from the last exercise so that it can adapt to that training and become stronger for the next exercise. Insufficient recovery time will greatly hinder that process and can result in the classic symptoms of over training such as extreme soreness, tiredness, and having your immune system not function well. This can result in getting really sick and having to stop running altogether for some time until you are well again……
- Nutrition: …after overtraining and getting sick myself, I now really prioritize nutrition. I take multivitamins, to help get all the nutrients my body needs. I also take calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplements to help my bones and immune system. I make sure I eat some good fats and omega 3, 6 and 9 to keep my body healthy,
- Tech head: I really enjoy monitoring my runs by timing them and keeping comprehensive records. To see my times improving and making progress in my fitness was really motivating. Now I have trouble running without my Garmin (GPS watch). I also really enjoy running my long runs and recovery runs with music from my iphone on an arm band (I like running with my phone for safety reasons as well.)
- Training Plan: I make a training plan for myself that incorporates these things:…. a long run, a fartleck session (running faster for a short time), a hill run and recovery runs.
- Warm-up: I always make sure I do a warm up, not just stretches, but a dynamic warm-up of jumping, lunging, running on the spot.
I’m sorry that post turned out much longer than I’d expected, once I started writing, I just had so much to share….Do you have any tips for beginner runners, or any experiences you would like to share? I would love to hear about them in the comments! If you wold like any more information about any of these points, please feel free to contact me.
Linking up with the birthday girl, Jess at diary of a SAHM for #IBOT (Iblog on Tuesday). Pop over and have a look at all the awesome Tuesday bloggers!