Running is a rewarding, enjoyable and impressive sport that anyone can do. But the sad thing is that not everyone realises that there is more to running than just running. That is, until there’s an injury or tons of money has been wasted on the most expensive running equipment out there. But look no further: I give you four tips that I wish someone had told me when I first started out running so that you don’t have to make those mistakes. Here are 4 Things to Know on the Go!
1. Make sure your shoes are wide-fitting and a half-size bigger
I remember buying my first pair of running shoes in my size and not looking at whether they were a wide fit, the cushioning they had or the sole material. For me, it was purely about having a nice pair of shoes. But one massive and bothersome blister later, I needed new ones and a good amount of money was wasted. Go for a wide fit or at least half a size up from your normal size because you can get fluid buildup and your feet swell when you run. Invest in some good running shoes, but don’t break the bank.
2. Slow and steady wins the race
You can’t neglect comfortable paced jogs. You need a good amount of those to build up an aerobic threshold – if you do, you’ll never go slower than that pace. There’s a temptation to leave fire trails down the pavement on a run but you’ll just burn out near the end and won’t be able to give it a good finish or maintain that pace. Some runners I know say that you should be running at a comfortable pace for 80% of your runs and the rest should be more challenging.
3. You can’t fuel your body with junk and expect it to ‘go’ well
You need the right fuel. If you’re not getting enough iron, you’ll be fatigued and short of breath. If you’re not getting enough water both during the run and during the day, your throat will be crazy dry and you’ll have awful headaches. If you’re not getting a balanced diet of all the right nutrients, you’re going to feel like death and probably give up. It’s better to get satisfying meals that meet the requirements than to supplement and eat calorie-dense junk that doesn’t fill you up properly. You can’t out-train a bad diet.
4. Take breaks!
It’s better for you to have a break one-to-three times a week when you begin than to go at it everyday and get an overuse injury and stop running altogether for weeks or even months. Off-days coupled with good quality sleep give your body the chance to repair after such high-impact exercise. Plus, ‘off days’ don’t have to be complete shut-down off days. Go for a swim, try gentle yoga, tai chi, stretching or something of that nature, where your limbs and joints don’t have to go through a pounding, yet beneficial and preventive work is still being added. It’s a wise investment.