How I became a better runner

11 Aug

I love running but there was a time I used to hate it.

One of my first dates with my husband was when he met me  for a study break while I was in college and we went for a  jog.  Although I tried to look cool while I ran,  I thought I was going to die!  My breathing was off and I felt like my feet weighed 1000 lbs.  I continued to go running with my now husband but I was so frustrated because while I struggled, he looked like he floated across the pavement like a gazelle.

I decided to join a local running group and as the weeks went by I gradually started to feel better.  I wasn’t struggling with my breathing and I noticed I could run further each time I went out.

5 important tips that I learned that continue to help me are:

  • Warm up:  Don’t go all out when you start running.  Your lungs and heart need a chance to warm up.  Take about 5-10 minutes (if not more) running at a slower pace.  As I got older I found I needed more time to warm up.  It typically takes me about 10 sometimes 15 minutes until my breathing feels right.
  • Increase mileage gradually:  Don’t run too far too soon.  This will only lead to injury.  Every week try adding a few more minutes to your running workout.
  • Be consistent:  don’t just go out once every week and expect to get better.  Run a few times a week.  Find a program online and follow it.  This is a great one to start with
  • Run with a group: Being part of a running club provides a unique opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of more experienced runners and to socialize with a group that shares a common interest in running and good health. 
  • Stretch:  Improves flexibility and recovery after running. Running takes a hard toll upon your body and particularly muscles and tendons. During running your muscles become contracted (shortened) as you tense your body and as they have to adapt to running surfaces. Stretching after running will re lengthen them and improve flexibility and also promote a faster recovery

I continue to run and over the years I went on to run several triathlons, half and full marathons.  Completing my marathon was one of my biggest accomplishments.  I went from not even being able to run a few kilometres to completing a full marathon and missing my Boston qualifying time by only a few minutes!

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So last night my husband and I had the ENTIRE  night to ourselves.  In order to take advantage of our kid-less morning, I woke my husband up super early to go for a run.

He wasn't thrilled about getting up early

He wasn’t thrilled about getting up early

Running in the morning is the best.  I love waking up before everyone else.  It’s so quiet and peaceful

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We even ran into one of our friends 🙂

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My dog Baylee loves to go running but she’s getting older and I find if she runs too far, her joints get incredibly sore.  She’s 9 1/2 and she still thinks (and acts) like a puppy.  Since we only ran about 6 or 7 km today, we brought her along.  She had a blast.  I love seeing her running through the fields.  It always makes me feel happy inside knowing that she’s having fun.

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A great run with great company.  No better way to start the day!

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What’s your favourite time to go running?

Do you have  a running partner or do you prefer to venture off solo?

Do you have any running tips you’d like to share?

Hope everyone has a fabulous day and enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

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