“Every morning in Africa, an antelope wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest antelope, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or an antelope – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
To follow up on last week’s running tips, we have a special post from our Exercise Expert, Cortney Chen. Professional Ski Instructor, Nationally Ranked Tennis Pro, Marathoner, and Triathlete, she has tackled the athletic world with skill and enthusiasm, and now has offered to share her secrets to success with us.
Just a few more tips coming at ya! * if you missed out on part I, you can find it here.
1. Stretch post run, never pre run.
I guess this tip will haunt you for the rest of your life. After any exercise you have to thank your body for successfully completing the physical abuse you put it through. The best way I can think of it is this, when you are little you can’t have dessert until you finish your dinner. Stretching is your body’s dessert. It just needs a cool down and a little love. I will go into some great yoga moves for a runner in a later post.
2. Your chest needs support.
Girls, yoga bras won’t cut it. Go get a bra that straps your girls down. Take it from me, I herniated a disk my first year running. It doesn’t feel good. Lululemon makes awesome sports bras. And if you don’t want to break the bank, so does Nike, and Under Armor.
Guys, you don’t get off so easy. You may chafe a little around your nipples. Band-aids are your best friends. Especially if it is a longer run than you are used to.
3. Dry mouth? Gum to the rescue.
This is a personal favorite. My throat used to burn while running, and I could never keep enough saliva in my mouth to make it comfortable to breath. Gum solves everything. Sugar free eclipse seems to last the longest for me, but to each their own on this one.
4. Dress as if 10 degrees warmer out
If you have ever seen a runner in the Rocky Mountains trudging along in shorts in early winter, its not because they are crazy… well no crazier than the rest the runners out there. But if it’s 40, and you wear 7 layers you are going to be hot. We are not training to be wrestlers we want to keep our water weight in.
5. Eat and hydrate post run.
If you really worked out hard you aren’t going to be hungry, but down a smoothie. This is when your body is going to recover. Anything you eat is going to be burned up almost immediately. Be smart about what you eat. Your body just finished something amazing, reward it with good food. So this means no to sweets, fast food, etc. You didn’t run so you could eat poorly. If you do, you are going to feel poorly because your body uses that food to replenish itself. Believe it or not, you are what you eat.
6. Celebrate a Job Well Done.
Once you have reached a lofty goal, give yourself a lil loving. If you have had your eye on a new running watch, let your body and mind know you are proud of it and practice some self-indulgence. Try and keep your congratulatory items running related, to help keep you motivated. I think you will find suddenly you will have quite a few goals that you are aiming for.
7. Destination runs can make your world go round.
If you are like me then, running around a track just won’t do it everyday. I have my favorite 5, 7, 10, mile loops picked out, but every once in awhile I need to kick it somewhere new. Check your local run shop, they often have running books or pamphlets that highlight trails near you. Sometimes I incorporate errands into my run and just spend the day on foot all over town.
8. The Ground Beneath Your Feet.
No surprise, what you run on makes a difference. Starting with the best; trail, track, treadmill, asphalt, sand, cement. Don’t be scared off by cement. All have pros and cons, and quite a few races are going to be run on streets. But if there is a trail near you, your body will like that the most.
9. Listen to Your Body
Running, like any sport, comes with its normal aches and pains. It’s natural to feel sore or tired after a long run. However, it is not normal to have sharp shooting pains in your arm or to feel dizzy for 3 days. Be smart and reasonable. You are going to be the best judge of what is right for your body.
10. Let’s See Some I.D.
We can all thank my loving mother for this tip. It has been some time since I lived under her roof and still when I go to visit and head out the door for a run I hear her yell, “Where are you running and about how long will you be? Do you have your I.D?!” It can be a driver’s license, I.D. bracelet, piece of paper, or a cell phone with emergency contacts in it. I normally throw in a credit card or some cash too just in case. In her words, this advice “Is just good sense.”
Lastly and most important HAVE FUN!!! If you aren’t feeling a sense of accomplishment or self-satisfaction, you are not going to continue “one of life’s most simple pleasures.” At the end of the day running will give you everything you put into it; an outlet to stress, relief from a bad day, a clear mind and body, and all the endorphins you can take J.