I’m a lover of the world and far off places who is so excited that you’re here. Looking forward to sharing more of my world with you and all the things I love. I hope this site really does feel like a wellness oasis right here on the internet.
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Running for me started almost 8 years ago out of a desire to move more and be healthy inside and out. I’ve been running on and off since then, with a lot more focus on running over the past three years. When I started, a 13 minute mile was normal, and getting past 4 miles was a major challenge. It’s been a journey and my progress is definitely a result of consistency as well as continued competition to be my best self. Running isn’t something I did growing up and I wouldn’t say it came naturally to me, but I committed to becoming a better runner and I’m so glad I did. During this crazy version of the world we’re living in, I’ve found so much peace in taking 20-60 minutes for myself each day to run solo outside.
I maintain a safe distance, but my sanity miles (as I call them) have really kept me sane since they’re the one thing that I’m able to control and really look forward to each day with so much unknown in the world. It’s the one thing I’m able to control and track which I love. Surprisingly, I’ve been a major proponent of indoor running throughout my journey for efficiency’s sake, but during these uncertain times, I’ve craved the time to explore new streets, pathways, and parts of my temporary home away from home. I’m staying in a new city, and it’s been beautiful to use running as a way to explore.
While there is so much that is frustrating about this current version of the world, running has been one of the silver linings for me. I’ve really tested my limits and been so proud of the progress I’ve been seeing. I’ve come a long way from that 13 minute mile but it’s taken years. I’ve gotten tons of questions lately around getting started as a runner and things I’ve learned along the way, below is a list of the top 6 things to know as a new runner.
The Right Shoes are Key: Running can be tough, but the right pair of shoes goes a long way. We’ve all got a pair of gym shoes at home great for a walk, but if you’re going to be running, you really do need a shoe that is supportive over a longer distance. Everyone’s feet are different so you may have to do a bit of testing to find what works for you, but I recently discovered Hoka One One which has great options to start off with. There are so many options out there, but in a time where we can’t go to the store, I love that these shipped so quickly and Zappos has such a seamless return policy that gives you plenty of time to return if needed. Socks are also important, not sure why people don’t talk about this more. I usually opt for thicker socks when running but you can test/learn to see what works best for you.
Find or Create a Playlist and Don’t Underestimate the Power of Podcasts: I admire those that can run in silence, but I always have a playlist or podcast on while I’m doing my daily sanity miles. When I was just starting out, I’d put together a list of my favorite 10-15 hype songs and save them for the run so I’d be even more excited to listen and forget the distance. Now that I’m running longer distances (5+ miles) podcasts have really become my friend, a tip I learned during marathon training that stuck. Podcasts keep my mind more occupied which is appreciated while running for 50+ minutes. There’s something out there for everyone! I find that entrepreneurial podcasts and conversation-style podcasts really work best for me but there’s also news, short stories, comedies, a little of everything. You could also try a guided run or meditation if you’re looking for more direction.
Track your Runs: I’m competitive, mostly with myself. I’ve found tracking my mileage to be super helpful as I try to figure out what “fast” looks and feels like for me. I also appreciate knowing when I hit each mile marker and what my time is along the way. I’ve been using Map My Run, Runtastic, and Strava over the past few years. If you’ve got friends that run, healthy competition and encouragement does help you push further, so I’ve added my friends on the above apps to help keep me accountable (perfect segway into my next tip).
Accountability Buddies: This has been SO key for me throughout my journey, but especially now with this pandemic. While we’re all apart and running alone there’s so much power in building your community of people who will encourage you to run, support your progress and continue to share tips/tricks. I’ve got 3 people who I know I can count on to encourage me to continue to run, even on the days I’m not really feeling like running but know I’ll feel so much better after having even gone one mile. The beauty of virtual accountability buddies is that everyone can encourage each other even if we’re all at different paces and places in our running journey. There’s also tons of virtual races happening if you want a larger team feel!
Set Goals and Take It One Mile at a Time: It can seem overwhelming to do 3-5 miles when you’re first starting, so set goals but be kind to yourself and celebrate your progress. Take things one mile at a time, and remember that a mile at any pace is still an accomplishment. On the days I end up doing long runs, I still take things one mile at a time, breaking down the run into 1-2 miles chunks or geographical points I’m familiar with. This helps a ton and I’m constantly telling myself that I’m one mile away from halfway or two miles from the finish. Running is largely mental so tell yourself the positive, encouraging things you need to hear to keep going.
Listen to Your Body and Don’t Forget to Stretch: Listen to your body and pay attention to any parts of your body that are sore or anything that doesn’t feel right. Running can be very impactful on your joints, especially if you’re not used to doing it, so while I encourage you to push yourself, pay attention to all the little things and slow down or stop if something doesn’t feel right. A huge part of progress in running has to do with the recovery! Stretching and resting are the keys to progress that don’t get enough attention. Make sure you’re stretching ideally both before and after your runs. Core exercises are also a great supplemental way to train and prepare for future miles. Your core is key for doing pretty much anything in life, especially running, so strengthening your core will only benefit you in life and during your runs.
These are a few of the things I’ve learned on my running journey and things I wish I knew when I was starting out. Hopefully, these tips are helpful and if you’ve got any other questions, always happy to share my experience and share the resources that have helped me along this journey.