AMBASSADOR BLOG: Running Tips I wish Someone Told Me

Running Tips I Wish Someone Told Me
Jenna Pardini

Running. You either love it or hate it. I remember absolutely dreading that 1 mile run in middle school PE class. It was the worst! It’s funny to look back at those memories now that I consider myself a runner and couldn’t imagine my life without running. A few years back I decided to take the plunge and sign up for my first 5k. Ever since then, I have been addicted! 7 half and 3 full marathons later, I couldn’t be happier for taking the leap. If you’re new to running, you may be a bit overwhelmed by all the information out there. Don’t feel discouraged! Here are some tips that may help you along your journey.

Running tips I wish someone told me when I started:

  1. Invest in a good pair of running shoes. The shoes make all the difference, let me tell you! Do not skimp on running gear. And that also includes a good supportive sports bra! I would suggest going into your local running store or Nike and get on a treadmill so they can assess your foot and the way you run. I have a very narrow foot with almost no arch which means I need a more supportive running shoe. Personally, I love running in Nike Air Zoom Pegasis , but make sure to get the best shoe that’s right for your feet to avoid injury and discomfort. Also your shoes should be replaced every 300-400 miles.
  2. Join a running group or find a running buddy. Let’s be real, it’s so much more fun to run with a friend! I do also like my alone time once in a while but long distance runs are easier with a group pushing you forward. Set a distance goal with a friend and hold each other to it!
  3. Set small goals and build slowly. The last thing you want to do is do too much too soon. I have been guilty of this! If you are just starting your running journey, don’t worry about pace. I would suggest starting off at a “conversational” pace. It should be easy to breathe and carry on a conversation. This will prevent injuries and avoid over training.
  4. Stretch! Don’t forget to start with a warm up and end with a cool down and stretch. You will most likely be sore from your new venture so you want to be sure that you take good care of your body during this time. After a long run I also like to take an epsom salt bath to ease muscle pain and fatigue.
  5. Learn proper upper body form. My body is ultra-sensitive and can instantly feel when something isn’t right. When I run with my shoulders high I put a lot of stress on my neck which in turn causes headaches. Try to keep your hands at the level of your waist, shoulders down, arms at a 90 degree angle with elbows at your sides. Keeping your posture straight will help your comfort levels which will enable you to increase your distance.
  6. Concentrate on your breathing. Breath through your nose AND mouth to get the most oxygen to your muscles. You will be less out of breath and ready to go the distance. This is no joke. It’s really important to keep an even breathing pattern which will also help your body from overheating.
  7. Don’t forget to take rest days. Rest is just as important as getting exercise. Your body needs it! It seems crazy, but once you fall in love with fitness its hard to take a rest day. Your body needs time to recover so just do it.
  8. It gets easier!!! Don’t give up! I promise it will get easier with time. It will be hard. You will want to stop. But running will only make you stronger. If you can convince your mind, your body will follow.

-Jenna Pardini, @jennapardini The Starting Nine