Thursday, March 17, 2016

Three Things: Running Tips


There are ways running can be less terrible. Hmm. That sounds so defeatist. Especially after all of the glowing praise for running I gave the other day. Where did this poor attitude toward running come from all of a sudden? Confession: I wrote that post about reasons I love to run on a day when I didn't go running. Today I am writing to you after having gone for a long run earlier this afternoon. I hadn't gone for several days so my body was shocked and confused. "What are we doing out here, Lucy Rose? The sun is shining, all we want to do is lie down in it and sip tea! What are you trying to make us do?!" Honestly, it was rough. But I made it through and the minutes afterward felt so good. So, for those of you who need some inspiration to get outside and run, here are three things that have helped me, both now and when I was beginning.

1. Make a Plan
This seems like a no-brainer. But I think while some people may plan to run, but they don't actually plan the course of their run. There are a few key benefits to be gained by choosing a route and time limit ahead of time. Firstly, you can decide how long you want to run and map out a way to get that desired mileage. Secondly, you have an end in sight. Rather than floundering around wondering if you can stop yet or finding yourself in random side-streets, you can pace your run according to a knowledge of your route. It is much easier to endure something strenuous if your know it has a finishing point.

2. Sing a Song
This was something that my older brother taught me on the very first run I went on. He was on the track team at our school and in the eight grade. He was hot stuff to little fifth grade Lucy Rose. He even broke our school's record for the mile! Everything he did was cool and I wanted to do anything he wanted to do. One day he went for a run. I wanted to come with. Amazingly, he let me. But I had a really hard time keeping up. I lagged twenty side-walk squares behind him with a terrible stitch in my side. He told me that when he was in training for track they always had to keep running through the pain. But if I needed to I could walk and put my hands above my head. He also told me to pick a simple song and sing it over and over in my head. The song would help me create a rhythm for my breath and steps, which would help me to keep a steady pace. So I sang Jesus Loves Me over and over. It helped! But you can get a little sick of your song after a while...

3. Pick a Buddy
Another seemingly obvious one. And it kind of ruins the whole solitude thing, if that's what you are going for. But running with another person is so helpful for keeping the pace, not giving up and even pushing you to a speed or distance you otherwise wouldn't have achieved. For me it can also be a welcome distraction from the pain.

Bonus Running Tip: If you are going to run alone write an emergency contact number in Magic Marker on your upper arm or somewhere on you body that is visible. That way if you get in an accident people can know who to call. Don't worry about looking weird. You'll be running so fast that people will just think you have a wicked tattoo.

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