5 Tips for New Runners
For being in my early thirties, I have checked off a lot of my bucket list items. The box that has been daunting for me for awhile is running a half marathon. Every year for the last 4 years I have pretended that I am going to do it. Now, I am officially 8 weeks and over 100 miles into my training (so you can’t congratulate me yet), and enjoying it way more than I thought I would. I am not a runner. I enjoy working out and being active but running has always seemed so boring for me. I’ve read blogs on marathon training and these people seem so passionate and professional about it. I am not a professional runner and although I may not be passionate about running, I am excited about my new found routine. I am going to share with you 5 tips and essentials that have helped me get through my training so far.
Remember when you were younger and your coaches used to always make you stretch? It is even more important now! I go through phases with stretching but it has really become an essential in training. I have added on stretches for my ankles, feet and toes after listening to a coach on a podcast and it has really made a difference. Things like doing spelling the alphabet with your feet and stretching your feet can reduce stiffness and soreness. I still have a lot of work to do with stretching and I am excited to see how it improves my running.
2. Self Care and Injury Prevention
In 7th grade, I ran track and actually was a part of a record breaking relay team. My knees began to ache and I went to physical therapy where I was told I had very little cartilage between my patella and femur. This was on top of having flat feet and pushed out heels. Hence, I chose other sports in high school and became a total show choir nerd.
I didn’t want what I was told in 7th grade to stop me. I mean, come on, I am strong woman. Taping my knees takes pressure off the joints causing them not to ache. I use two different kinds of tape depending on the run and the weather. The KT tape is always good but if it a shorter run I will use the regular athletic tape.
My 5th week into marathon training, my ankle got really fat. It was painful to the touch but I didn’t want to slow down my training nervous that I won’t be ready for the race. I bought an ankle brace at the dollar store and kept training. The brace helped support it and add compression during my runs but it would be so swollen after. I knew I needed to take further action to prevent this from stopping me all together. I found out I had edema which basically means swelling. I would ice it after runs but it wasn’t until into week 6 that I thought of rubbing a CBD balm on it. I had used the Koi Healing Balm for headaches before but decided to try it on my ankle. I rubbed it on before bed and the next morning, the swelling had gone down a little. I continued this for the next three nights and my ankle shrunk almost completely to its normal size. I was so excited that I’ve been using it on my knees and went for a run without tape for the first time yesterday. It was a short run and my knees didn’t ache. My husband works construction and has me rub it on his hip every night now too. This will continue to be a stable in my training.
Epsom salt baths is another way to prevent injury and help heal your body. Epsom salt magically turns into magnesium and sulfate in the water which promotes muscle relaxation and reduces stiffness in joints. Ice baths are also supposed to be really healing but I haven’t brought myself to do it yet.
3. The Right Shoes
There are right running shoes. There are wrong running shoes. Then, there are right running shoes for you. I went to one of those fancy stores that fits you for running shoes. They recorded me running on a treadmill and looked at my feet. I have no arches, rolled in ankles and kick my legs out weirdly when I run. Yep, I am a running disaster! I thought they would fit me for some super cool running shoe, and they came out with a pair of asics. I don’t know why I associated them with old people but they have stepped up my running game! I highly recommend getting shoes that will support you in your training. They also help find arch supports, cushions or anything else you may need for your training.
4. Music and Podcasts
I use this time to learn and educate myself by listening to some of my favorite podcasts. I always listen to mine (Miraculous Mamas) on Mondays to look for ways to improve but I also enjoy Almost 30, The Birth Hour, and The Informed Pregnancy. I listen to several others but these tend to be my go to podcasts for running because I always feel like I am learning something new which is motivating to me.
Music is one of my love languages, but finding the right mix to run to is really hard! I like a wide variety of music and would skip through some songs which can be distracting while trying to run. I started putting together my marathon training playlist by adding any song that motivates me or has a good rhythm to run too. My playlist is so random but it works for me. I hope you find motivation in this weirdness.
5. Headphones and Phone Holder
I am that person that if I pull up to the gym and left my headphones at home, I will leave. I now have two pairs of headphones and keep one in my car and the other in a drawer at home to avoid this from happening.
At the beginning of my training, I would run with my phone in hand. I knew this wouldn’t work for longer runs so I bought an arm band which I really love. I now use it with my other work outs as well. I used to put my phone in bra which I know is horrible for you!
I am so excited about this half marathon. I didn’t know that running could be fun but I am really into it. I get outside every day and connect with nature. It creates time for me to catch up on podcasts, meditate or listen to music. It forces me to move and be active every day and I get to check an item off my bucket list. I would love to hear what your tips and essentials are for training and if you have tried any of mine! I am also super excited to offer you 20% off of Koi products with code “ElizbethJoy20” as a thank you for reading my blog. :)
Peace. Love. Run.