For those of you who've followed along the Smith journey for a while, you know that I started running back in September, only to learn in November that
I'm a wuss I had Achilles tendonitis, thus making it impossible to run anymore.
I went to the doctor, got some medicine, did physical therapy, and took several months off. I got the itch again when it started getting so pretty out, so I decided to try it out. And guess what? The persistent icing (as in ice - not frosting), the prescription anti-inflammatory, and the
lazy sitting around on my backside months of rest paid off. I'm back in the game.
I'm taking it slow, so I'm starting back with the Couch to 5k plan as I did the first time around. But since I've learned a few things through all this, I thought I'd share for a couple reasons: 1) To motivate any non/beginning runners, and 2) To make long-time runners chuckle at what probably should have been obvious to me to begin with.
- Stretch. This is major. That's why I put it first... and that's why this is the only guideline not laced with sarcasm. Did you know that holding any stretch under 30 seconds doesn't really count? So stretching your hamstrings for 10 seconds does nothing. My physical therapist told me to think of it like a hair band - it takes time for the them to stretch. Same with your muscles, except more serious of course. Stretching is majorly important and prevents injuries and that day-after-tightness. Do not overlook the post-run-stretching.
- Morning runs are delightful. I don't know what it is, but mornings have this magic to them. It's like it's just you and the birds and the pavement ahead. Magic, I tell you.
- Do not, I repeat DO NOT, sprint until the very end. And even then, only if you feel it's absolutely necessary, which it probably isn't, but your choice. I'm a moron who decided that sprinting on my second-to-last running interval would be a great idea. I blame it on the Jay-Z/Linkin Park song on my playlist, but I should have known better.
- Speaking of Jay-Z... His music is perfect for motivation. Add it to your playlist in a part of your run that you know is that point when you're ready to give up. Follow it up with Miley, if you dare. She'll be a little easier on your pace but will put a lil smile on your face. Just me? Okay. Have it your way.
- Breakfast. If you must eat before you run, stick to fruit or something light. No matter how cute your husband is, do not let him convince you to go to Waffle House when you know full well it's going to make your run in 1-1/2 hours incredibly difficult.
That's my guide.
Oh, and get good shoes. But 6 is not a prime number, so I am not officially putting it on my list.
Because I have issues and lists of this nature must be prime.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor (in fact, I work in marketing). This guide is for sarcastic entertainment purposes only. So if you want real medical advice on how to start running, do not consult me.