Thursday, February 14, 2013

The L Word

Happy Valentine's Day my friends!
Today I want to talk about the L word. No not LOVE; Long Distance Running! Because it's V-Day and I Loooove running, I'm going to give you a few tips on how easy it is to get started.
A lot of people ask me what motivates me to run or how do I not get bored running. There are many facets to running. It's not just putting on a pair of sneakers and dashing out the door. There's a science to running and there's a spiritual side to it as well (at least for me).
When I run, I feel free and liberated. My thoughts run wildly and I feel almost invincible. There's actually a chemical reaction in your brain when you run, which basically sends messages to your brain's endorphins. The endorphins give you that "high" you feel when you run. See that's the science part. Running also keeps me sane on stressful days.
So, in the spirit of V-Day, these are my tips to you to get started on long distance running:
1. Find a race that interests you. Make sure it's an adequate race for your fitness level
2. Get a good training guide to follow. Don't just go out there and run. Have a plan.
3. Get a good pair of sneakers.
4. Give your body the nutrients it needs, such as calcium and Vitamin D.
5. Increase your mileage weekly. Two miles a week should suffice.
6. Wear a heart monitor. This is a great way to track your training.
7. After a long run, take an ice bath or ice your legs to reduce inflammation.
8. Wear a good sports bra to avoid chafing.
9. Be careful with carb-loading. Your body doesn't necessarily need a huge plate of pasta before a race.
10. When training for a race, make sure to eat gels on your long runs to simulate race day. This applies to sports drinks too. You could always wear a fuel belt or stash the drinks along the way.
11. Visualize yourself running on race day. Develop a mantra (aka self-talk) that you will use during the tough times in the race.
12. Invite friends to run with you. This will be a change in your routine and it will motivate you.
13. Have fun on your long runs. They may be long, but come up with a neat route that you will enjoy.
14. Wear a hat and sunglasses to avoid the sun in your eyes and flying debris in the air.
15. Take a mile at a time. Don't get over-whelmed with the number 26. Just do it!
Remember, LOVE what you do and it will LOVE you right back!!
What do you enjoy doing to avoid stress?
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