I can’t meditate because if I ‘quieten my mind’, I fall asleep. So running is my time for reflection. When the going gets tough, I put on my running shoes and hand the kids over to someone else. I return, that calm, centered being I always want to be. So if you fancy giving it a go, here are my tips.
No dogs allowed.
If your dog will keep pace, run in a straight line and not be distracted by every passing smell then ok, but personally, run time is my time and I wouldn’t share with anyone or any dog. Sudden stopping, bottom sniffing and lagging behind are all reasons enough to leave Fido behind. If he needs a walk, then take him on your cool down.
You need your arms.
Your arms should be bent and they should sit around the bottom of your ribs/waist height. Your hands should be relaxed and slightly cupped, not clenched or dead straight (unless you are sprinting). Don’t hold water bottles, keys, phones or dog leads. We are looking for efficient balanced movement. Arms should move in a relaxed way and when you are going up hill you can ‘pull’ more to help you climb. Arms should not be trying to hold your boobs down. That’s what bras are for.
The washed out grey sports bra that has fraying elastic won’t cut it. Go and get fitted for a proper supportive sports bra, your boobs will thank you and your running will improve with your new streamlined frontage. Don’t pick the pretty one with spaghetti straps; it’s a sports bra not a bikini. NEVER run in your bikini unless you are under the age of 20 and/or a triathlete.
You need running shoes.
This is also a good area to invest. They don’t need to be expensive but they need to be fitted for your foot. Get some professional advice at least for your first pair and then you can buy the rest online if you want to. Proper fitting shoes will reduce the chance of injury and make running much more comfortable. If you get injure you won’t be able to run so it’s counter intuitive to run in crappy old shoes you have found at the back of the cupboard
Run for time
If you are just starting out, try setting yourself a goal of running for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about how many km’s you are clocking up because chances are you won’t know anyway. Don’t worry if you can’t run for 10 minutes, run for as long as you can and then walk briskly until your heart rate comes down a bit, then run again and repeat until you can keep going for the full 10 minutes. Don’t worry about anyone else or what you look like. You are doing this for you not for them.
Vary your runs
If you have been running for a while, don’t keep running the same 5KM loop. Your body will get used to it and you will find it difficult to improve your time or your fitness. Mix things up with a longer run, a hill run and some interval or speed work. Not sure what all this means? You can join a running group, hire a trainer or Google it. Make it fun and you’ll notice improvements.
My final tip, jogging should be left in the 80’s. There is no membership card to the runner’s club. If you are running, you are a runner. You tell people that with pride. See you on the trails