Summertime is basically here.. the summer bod however, is not. We’ve always said “I’m gonna start running this spring!” or, “I’m going to be a great runner by the time beach season is here”, but never actually got around to it. Those first few runs are always too hard and our motivation wavers very quickly. Coming from a girl who never ran too much until this year, and has gotten up to 5-8 miles no problem every single day, I have a few tips for a not-so-athletic person to turn into an everyday runner.
The first hurdle to running consistently is willpower. If you’re slightly tired from the day and are considering skipping the run you initially planned, ignore the fatigue. You will thank yourself after and feel a lot more accomplished, even if it was a shorter run than you were expecting. You will never get mad at yourself for at least trying, but you will get mad if you skip the run and head for the pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
2. Good running shoes
I know Nike sneakers may look really cool and you may feel like those sweaty athletes in the commercials, but try and stray away from Nikes. They are good for training, not running long distance at ALL (no matter which model you get). Instead, go for a sturdier shoe, like Asics, Brooks, Sauconys, Mizunos, or New Balance. You’ll thank yourself when your knees are not in searing pain (personal experience, thanks Nike.)
I know for some of us the point of running and working out is to lose weight. However, if you don’t have enough food to fuel your body, you’ll be too tired on your run. That means zero motivation to keep going. Try and eat a lot of proteins (meat, nut butters), veggies and fruits, and dare I say it… CARBS. Don’t go for the garlic bread, but a good sandwich on multigrain bread will make your run that much better. Don’t believe carbs are a good thing? Check out these reasons that you should actually eat more carbs.
4. Water. Water. Water.
I personally carry a water bottle with me wherever I go, because the worst feeling in the world is a headache from dehydration. Drinking multiple bottles of water a day (try and use a reusable one) before and after your run will keep you alert and keep your body happy. If you have trouble drinking all that plain liquid, here are 8 ways to make water taste better.
6. Stretch and roll out
Your body is going to be tight and achy after the first few runs, so listen to the aches and help them. Stretching before and after a run is very important, and usually overlooked. It can be at anytime of the day too, like getting up a few minutes earlier than normal and trying a simple stretch routine to start your day. Rolling out is also a great idea if you feel tension in a particular area. If you’re not sure how to roll out, you can easily youtube how-to videos to help guide you.
7. Good running swag
Okay, so while not completely necessary, good workout gear actually helps motivate a workout (at least for me). If Lululemon isn’t in your budget, try TJ Maxx or Marshalls. They actually have great tanks, shorts, leggings, and athletic zip ups to help get you looking your best while you’re doing your thang. Feel like wearing one of those celebrity brands to the gym? Here are a few celebrity brands that you can actually afford while still looking like a superstar.
Rest doesn’t mean take 6/7 days of the week off, but it does mean don’t get carried away to the point where you don’t remember the last time you took a good day off. Your muscles need the time to breathe and grow, they’ll get all cramped up if they are overworked. Once you get in the habit of running, it may be hard to get back into the swing of things after a day of rest, but go right back to step one (willpower), and you’ll be back on track.
So get out there, start with a mile and work your way up each day. It may seem tough, but within a week or two of following some simple steps, you may just find yourself in a running routine.