5 Tips To Get You Running (Or Walking)
You may know by now, that one of my first passions, post-sports career, is running. I looooove a good run. In my postpartum body, walking has found it’s way into my routine, but shorter jogs still are part of the weekly regimen. There is nothing that has allowed me more “me think” time than being out on a run or walk; a podcast or some tunes and I’m gone!
I wanted to share my top 5 tips for adding running (or walking!) into your routine. As we should strive for a triad of endurance, strength and flexibility in a well rounded fitness regime, a 30 minute walk/run will do wonders!
1) Listen to your body!
You will hear me preach this from the rooftops! The Chiropractor in me is coming out loud and clear: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If something hurts, if it doesn’t feel “right”, if it doesn’t feel like your normal, or like it “should” — STOP. There is nothing you can do worse for any injury than to push through the pain. Nothing. Ignoring your body’s alarm message will land you farther back than forward. There is always an alternate way to do something, so maybe running/walking/you-name-it just isn’t good right now. Get *said issue* worked out and come back to it. Incontinence, that knee pain, the catch in your hip, etc. is not “normal”. Exercise, no matter what it is, should not hurt. Period.
2) Make sure the shoe fits!
Literally. The old pair of shoes you’ve had for 5 years are NOT a good choice. Your shoe is the first line of “support” for your entire body. With every step, your shoe will absorb/guide/support your foot all the way up to your neck. Don’t compromise here. Please! I always recommend going to a legitimate running store to purchase running/walking shoes. Most of the time these stores are staffed with persons trained in analyzing your foot and gait. You can try on various shoes, give them test run, and really find what your proper fit should be. Simply going off of your neighbors recommendation, or the new ad you saw on Instagram, is no bueno. There is no one size fits all. It really is trial and error. Bonus points if the store you purchase your shoes from let’s you take them out of the store and run in them for 1 week (or more) and return them if they don’t work. A truly perfect fit will not rub you the wrong way, anywhere. So if your shoes do/are, trade them in. Your running shoes should be a well thought out investment in your health. I promise you this will not be something you regret. I love Running Fit in TC.
3) Get off the road!
Ok, hear me out. It’s super convenient to run out of your front door and down the road, turn around after some time/distance, and land yourself back in the shower getting on with your day. I completely agree! But, road running can be hard on your joints! Rephrase: Running IS hard on your joints! (It’s soooo therapeutic though!) Find a trail near you, or even run on the gravel shoulder if you must. We are very blessed in Michigan with some incredible trails. The Little Traverse Conservancy website is a wealth of knowledge.
4) Change it up!
Please, please, please do not run every day. Just don’t do it. It can be addicting, I know. But PLEASE do not do it. Your body needs rest and recovery. It also needs varying degrees of “exercise”. Unless you are training in the elite field for the New York City marathon next month, daily running is not for you. Nothing screams injury louder than a regimen of 5-7 days per week of just running. Also along this line, if you are brand new to this sport, or just getting back into it, interval runs are fantastic! Run for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds to 1 minute; repeat. This interval can increase or decrease depending on where you’re at. Give yourself some grace here. Be kind to your body!
5) Fuel, fuel, fuel!
It’s real easy to forget to hydrate, and when adding in any sort of fitness regimen to your routine, hydration is key! If you sweat a lot, you need to pay extra attention to hydration! The longer the distance, more hydration…
You may also feel more hungry, or have different cravings than usual. In accordance with #1, listen to your body. If you are hungry, find some good fuel (more times than not, it’s a protein-dense snack that will help). Listen to your cravings; it could be a necessary nutrient or mineral your body is in need of that was previously lacking and now brought to surface with the increased physical demand of the new exercise routine.
Now get going and enjoy the best time of year to be a runner! Cool mornings, sunshine, and beautiful colors await!