How I got started running
Okay I admit, I have unfair natural advantage. I think my long-legged, short-torsoed body type is suited to running, and my dad took me running with him sometimes, and gave me pointers, when I was a kid.
So I’m not a total noob, I ran a few times a week for about a year in college – but that was 20 years ago. It had been about 5 years since my last more-than-one run, and before that it had been another decade. In that time I had quit smoking and drinking so now it’s considerably easier to breathe and move my meat.
This weekend I got a book from the library, “The Complete Book of Women’s Running” from the year 2000. It confirmed a few things I’d always known and blew a few self-made myths out of the water. Here’s the most important elements to running, either getting started, or leveling up after already starting, from this gals perspective.
- SHOES – if you would wear them to work, if they would let you into a night club wearing them, then they aren’t the right shoes. You need to SUPPORT your joints and shins, barefoot running shoes are for experts. They should be giant, white, gnarly, and embarrassing. Buy them at a running shoe store, not a barefoot one, splurge on inserts, its cheaper than medical bills.
- BRA – I’m still not there yet. I went to a running store and they tried to sell me a smoosh-bra for smaller women. With a chest of epic proportions I’m going to have to order something specially that lifts and separates and stays put. Right now I’m using an “unbra” and its not bad at all, but it could be better.
- WATER and food – have a glass of water first! You’ll wish you did later. And a banana beforehand if you’re at all hungry.
- BREATHE! Oh lord, just stop if you’re having trouble breathing. Walk it off. If you’re still short of breath, keep walking. This isn’t a race. This is about you feeling better, not worse. I just discovered I’m supposed to breathe through my mouth, not my nose! Years ago someone told me to sniff the candle, blow out the flower, when I’m short of breath, it turns out your nose doesn’t’ give you enough O2 while running.
- PAIN. Dear god no, don’t work through the pain! Walk, walk, walk it off if you’re hurting. If its serious pain, you’re doing it wrong – see a doc or talk to someone at a running shoe store. If the pain lasts a week, stop running and just go for long walks until its better. If it lasts longer than a week, or hurts badly while walking, go see a doc, if you can’t afford it, go to the country doc.
Give yourself leg rubs, get a massage, drink lots of water, stretch stretch stretch. You’re worth it, you just did something awesome for yourself!