Yay we are talking about one of my favorite topics. Running! If you want to get started but don't know how or if you have energy or stress you don't know how to expel, I would suggest running as an avenue of aid. Here are some easy tips to get you started. Below that, is my story on how it changed my entire life, so feel free to read it if you have the time!
1. Go into it with no expectation except to be in tune to how your body is all working! Go at a conversational pace and take it slow. To start, don't focus on pace, just distance. (2 - 4 miles to start!)
2. Do you have the right shoes? It's so important to invest in a good shoe. I used to have really thick soled shoes because they were recommended to me and it caused me a lot of troubles. My Iliotibial band started hurting, my ankles kept rolling, my hips were misaligning and it took me a while to figure out it was because of my shoe. I swear by Newton Running . Have used their shoes for the past 7 years.
3. If you're a morning runner, what your last meal was will heavily weigh on your performance. For dinner, make sure you eat a fairly carb heavy meal, as it will help with energy. I don't eat breakfast before morning runs, but if you do, make it light!
4. The first 15 minutes is to recalibrate. Your body is trying to bring back a homeostasis and that takes time. The oxygen in your blood is heading to your muscles and your muscles make more enzymes to turn fuel into energy. So your body which is your factory is working hard, make mental room for that!
5. When breathing, make sure you inhale and exhale through both your nose and mouth at a smooth and constant speed. Your lungs will operate better when it gets consistency.
6. If you're trying to make it weekly a habit, start a training schedule and start with 3 days a week. Pick 2 days of the week where you run (walk when necessary) for 20-30 minutes then pick a day on the weekend where you can run (walk when necessary) for 40 minutes!
7. Don't think you have to run the whole time! Walk breaks are still incredibly needed for me and it gives your body a little break. Walk breaks during my run help me to not get burnt out in the future.
8. Treat yo-self after! Make sure you eat something after your run that is going to be exciting and filling. I also love drinking daterade. I'll post the recipe in my blog this week! Also, I usually make a smoothie or sweet potato toast. (A frequent smoothie for me is banana, mixed greens, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and a nut butter or my ultra micronutrient smoothie!)
9. Stretch afterward. I forget this step a lot but I think its really important for recovery and prevention of future strains and pulls.
10. Remember that your rest days are equally important than your running days. When you rest, you let your body adapt to the stress you are putting on it, which in turn makes you perform better, faster, and stronger. HAPPY TRAILS!!!!
It's been a long and loving road and running has benefit me in more ways than I can count so I wanted to tell you how it began for me so maybe it can spark some excitement for you to start too!
I believe that life has a beautiful ebb and flow where everything falls apart so it can come back together to make more room for positivity and growth. I was an extremely different person 10 years ago and am so thankful life brought me those times of turmoil. During senior year and right after high school, these "falling apart" moments started. My stomach would constantly be bloated and in so much crippling pain no matter what, I started to get severe verge-of-panic-attack social anxiety and it was often hard to even talk to my mom (the only thing that would help was alcohol), I was breaking out really bad on my cheeks and they were so painful, my parents abruptly got divorced, I could NOT get over a boy I was head over heels with (sounds trivial now but the struggle was so real haha), I was teaching at a private daycare at the time but didn't know my life direction, I would get brain fog so bad that I couldn't even finish a full thought or sentence, and I was gaining weight.
The first awakening for me was traveling to Africa (that has a whole story of its own) and then immediately after I moved to Boulder, Colorado. I moved up there with no job and I remember I was completely out of money. I didn't have any furniture, mattress, phone, tv or laptop, all my friends were away for a month and I would just lay on my floor in the middle of the day and wish I was sleeping. This was before I even knew what meditation, yoga, or unwinding was, which honestly sounds so crazy now. Anyhow, all I had was a small suitcase with an old pair of running shoes and some clothes. After a week or so of driving myself crazy, I stopped pitying myself and decided I was gonna be a runner. So I took some borrowed gear and my old shoes and drove to a mountain in Boulder. I started at the bottom of the trail and just started sprinting like a mad man up the hill. It wasn't until about 30-45 seconds where I was freaking out. How do people do this for even 5 minutes? 30 minutes? WHAT! I was perplexed so I went home and thats when my obsession began.
My feet connected all the way to my heart and then into my brain and I HAD to solve this puzzle. I found a short and even trail I used to walk on and made that my practice grounds. I'd go everyday and test myself. 1/4 of a mile without stopping. Then a 1/2 a mile without stopping. After 2 months, a full mile without stopping. I took it extremely slow because I didn't want to push it til exhaustion because I was honestly enjoying the high I would get with every tiny success. After a year I finally made it to 3 miles without stopping and then I worked on speed. It was one of those things where you realize no one can take this from you. Just you and the pavement and theres no such things as right or wrong. Too slow for who? Too fast for who? Every moment I started, I celebrated and it didn't matter how far or fast I was. I was a runner and no matter what else I did that day, I felt accomplished.
Now this is where everything else fell into line. In order for me to perform well for myself on the trail, it was important to figure out why I was in so much pain with my stomach. Long story short, I realized I was Celiac and my entire life changed when I cut it out of my diet. My break outs stopped, I no longer felt like I was going to die after a meal, my social anxiety was gone, but the biggest thing for me was my brain fog. I could finally think clearly again and no longer was a prisoner in my own head.
So what did running do for me? It connected the dots and realigned my body with my mind and all back into my heart. It rebalanced my reality and gave me a new perspective on my worth and how to feel my best. Once I found my outlet, I found my answers. No matter what is stressing me out at the time, I have a more clear path on how to work through it!