Happy National Running Day

It’s How I Run…

June 6 is National Running Day so I thought I would do a long overdue post on running.  Here are some general running tips from me.  Keep in mind, these may not work for everyone, but they are some things that help me with running.

running gear

The Two Most Important Things You’ll Need for Running

The nice thing about running is that you really don’t need to a lot of gear.  There certainly is a lot of gear you can get for running, but you don’t necessarily need it all.  One thing you should definitely invest in is a good pair of running shoes.  Your cool looking Converse are just not going to cut it.  Not only should you go out and buy a good pair of running shoes, you should buy them at a place that knows something about running.  They will check out your feet, ask you questions, look at your shoes (yes, please take your current sneakers, walking shoes, running shoes, etc. with you–they really don’t mind the smell).  We’re fortunate in the Lehigh Valley as we have two great stores (Aardvark and The Finish Line) that will get you in the right pair of running shoes.  Asics have worked the best for me because I have narrow feet and a high arch, but each runner is different, so you’ll want to get shoes that are good for your feet.  Trust me–you’ll enjoy running much more if you’re running in shoes that are right for you than those that look the coolest (besides, companies try to make all their shoes look cool anyway).

Women have to invest in a second important item if you decide to take up running and that is a good, high impact sports bra.  Ladies–you need to protect your girls.  Each breast can ‘travel’ several inches with each stride you take.  Without a good sports bra, your breasts can travel 1/10 – 1/4 of a mile for each mile you run.  And by travel, I mean up and down, left to right, side to side, crazy eight.  If you’re running to look good, you don’t want your breasts to start looking bad after a few workouts.  So take care of them!  Invest in a very good sports bra.  You wouldn’t think of wearing a sports bra as a sexy come-on in the bedroom, so don’t wear your sexy bras when running.  There are many good bras out there, but this is another area where it is a good idea to get properly fitted for your bra.  I prefer Moving Comfort bras, but there are other good ones out there as well by Champion, Lululemon, Asics, Saucony, etc.

Other Running Gear

Your running shoes, and for women, a good sports bra, are the two key things you need for running.  Everything else is bonus and can make your run more enjoyable.  Other gear I like includes good wicking clothing, such as running shorts, tops, running pants, jacket, socks, etc.  I also love my Spibelt, sold at good running stores where you’ll be buying your sneakers.  The Spibelt is a little small personal item belt that can stretch to fit as much or as little as you like in.  I generally have my phone, ID, and key in there, but you can also stick in some protein packs or other fuel/energy gels you may want on your run.   I like to carry my phone with me because I have decided not to invest in one of those fancy running watches.   I use an app on my phone to track my distance, time, speed, etc.  The exercise app I prefer is called RunKeeper and allows you to integrate with all your favorite social networking sites.  You can also program in certain workouts to help keep you on track (pun intended).  I do wear a running watch (a good old Timex Ironman) that serves me well.

Staying Motivated

This may come as a shock to many, but not everyone loves to run.  They may want to get in shape, but running, well, it seems like too much work to them.  So what are some ways to get motivated and stay motivated to run?  One of the best ways to stay motivated is to run with others.  It is much harder to quit running after 5 minutes if you are running with someone else, especially if you have a bit of a competitive streak in you.  Again, here in the Lehigh Valley we are fortunate to have some great groups to help you get into running or to find others to run with.  For women, there is an organization called First Strides that works on progressive routines to help you build up to run a 5K race.   You’ll get to work with some very awesome mentors (like me!) and meet other women trying to improve their running.  For men, women (and even kids) we have the Lehigh Valley Road Runners, which has group runs, races, and a kids series.

Running on your own?  I like listening to a good playlist when I run solo.  Some nights I need a bit more heavy metal, other nights it’s dance music, now and then rock&roll/alternative will do the trick.   Pick music that is going to motivate you and keep you going.

Here’s what I ran to tonight:

  • Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
  • Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne
  • Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida
  • Sexy Bitch – David Guetta w/Akon
  • Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Titanium – David Guetta w/Sia
  • Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake
  • Good Feeling – Flo Rida
  • Wild Ones – Flo Rida
  • Lose Yourself – Eminem

For me, personally, listening to a book does not work, but for other it may make the time go by quickly.  I also can’t do country music–that would make me run in front of a bus, which is probably not a good idea.

The important thing is to just start running.  Start small.  Don’t start wanting to do a marathon.  Start with 10 minutes and build from there.  Before you know it you’ll be running much further than you ever thought you could.

So Happy National Running Day!   Go out and get high–a runner’s high, that is!

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