Whether you want to start running for weight loss, or you're training for your first race, we've got 33 of the best tips for you. Everything from wearing custom insoles, to foam rolling, to goal setting. By the end of this post, you will be an expert at all things running!
Setting Achievable Goals for Beginners
- Look at your running history: start keeping track of how far you run, how long it takes, and if you feel like being fancy, how long it takes to run each mile. (Apps like Strava are fantastic for this)
- What is it you want to be able to do: is there a certain distance you want to be able to run, or a certain time you want to be able to run in?
- What races or distances do you want to do: like the above, what races do you want to be able to do? Write it down. You're so much more likely to commit to completing your goal if you do (see why here)
- Plan your training schedule: do you want to run your first half marathon? Make sure you have at least 12 weeks to train. The more time you have, the more time you give your body to strengthen its self and recover from the tremendous stress you will be putting it under.
- Write out where you need to be at the end of each month to be able to compete: If you're planning on running your first half marathon, write down how many miles you need to be able to run without stopping by the end of month 1, month 2, month 3, etc. It will help you gauge how far you've come.
The Best Post-Run Workout Program to Burn Extra Calories
OK, I'm sure that you're thinking "Wait, you're telling me to workout AFTER my run?!" .... Yes, I'm sorry to say that I am. We're not saying hit the weights, but just a few body weight exercises to activate those stabilizing muscles that keep you going.
- Sprint to the finish: looking to get the most out of your workout, and give yourself that extra kick? Dig deep and find that extra gear for the last 1/2 mile. Not only will you show yourself you've got something left in the bank, but you get to rest afterwards.
- Burpees to failure: they suck, but they burn MEGA calories (up to 50% more than moderate exercise – take that running!) They make you stronger by working your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core (making them fantastic for conditioning). You can do them anywhere, anytime, with no equipment (or excuses). So get to it!
- Squat Jumps: besides burning uber calories, squat jumps help your mobility and balance by activating core stabilization muscles. This move also helps to effectively pump fluids throughout the body, effectively removing waste and deliver nutrients to muscle tissues.
- Mountain Climbers: increase your coordination and agility with one of the funnest moves on the list. This move requires quick feet and coordination to do properly.
- Push ups: most people don't like doing push ups because their hard. However, increasing functional strength through this full body activation is key to your success... This is because every Major muscle group in your body is activated when you compress to the ground – and if you sit at a computer all day, expect your posture to improve!
- Lunges: besides targeting the quadriceps, lunges activate your glutes, calves, and core muscles, making them an important exercises for toning the lower body. Sexy, right?!
- Double Squat (squats x10 to squat jumps x10): If you didn't get the importance of #3, go back and read again, and then double the benefit!
Tips on How to Level Up
Run complete – check. Back home watching Netflix – check. Now what? Are you ready to kick your recovery and gains into overdrive? Here's how:
- Foam rolling: It hurts, but it's fantastic. It reduces soreness and tightness from working out. It increases flexibility. It helps prevent injuries. It's your best friend while watching the new episode of Game of Thrones. (See how to get started here)
- Stretch daily: we're all guilty of skipping that post run stretch, but you really should make the time. Not only does it feel great, but it will improve your range of motion, help your recovery (so you can get up and do it all again tomorrow) and reduce your change of injury.
- Core exercises: stabilizing your core not only gets your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen working in harmony, but it also increases your balance and stability. Not being mindful of how we sit or not engaging our core can also lead to things like compressed discs in our spine... Not fun!
- Commit to sleep: 8-hours a day keeps the doctor away. Not sleeping enough also affects your appetite hormones. Average 6-hours a night? You're 27% more likely to be overweight (See why you need more here)
- Commit to water: You've made it through life this far, so we're assuming you know that water is good for you. But, how much water do you really need while training? Well, it depends...
- Commit to vegetables: Get on a meal plan, and include the following: beetroot, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, bananas, old-fashioned oatmeal, tomatoes, whole wheat pasta, and wild salmon... What else could you ask for?!
- Limit alcohol: pop = sugar. Beer = calories. Alcohol = munchies. Get the picture? Limit your intake to limit the extra calories that you really don't need. We're not saying DON'T have a drink, just limit them to those special occasions.
- Wear custom insoles:Runners expose themselves to repeated loads that are fairly high on their feet. Custom insoles can help support the arch, and flex with your natural movement but at the same time help restrict the upper bounds of mobility that can get runners into trouble. Custom insoles can help you stay strong, aligned, and keep you going. Get yours here.
How to Stay Motivated
- Lacking motivation? Find your 'Why': are you not seeing results? Are you bored? Figure out what's holding you back and find a way to forge on. Look at your initial goals and where you've come from. You'll be surprised at how far you've come!
- Find a buddy or join a group:working with someone will keep you more motivated. Idle chit-chat helps make those long runs/workouts go by that much quicker.
- Commitment by committee! Tell everyone who will listen what you're training for. They'll get sick or hearing it, but it'll keep your mind on the prize.
- Rest and recover properly: Don't over train! Follow the 10% rule – never increase your training schedule by more than 10% week-over-week. If you're feeling sore, try these 5 Low-Impact Exercises.
Tips to CRUSH Race Day
- Don't eat anything new or unusual the night before or the morning of your race. If boring old oatmeal and 2 scrambled eggs is what your body is used to, don't stray from that. You don't want to get the runs while in the middle of your race.
- Get there early, stretch, and be ready to kick some ass! There's nothing more stressful than parking and sprinting to the start line as the whistle blows.
- Know your time: by now you should know your average time. Look for people around the same, and enjoy yourself. Take it all in. Don't go farther up the starting block than you think you should.
- Break your run down into mini races. The first 1/4 you're probably just getting over your nerves, the middle chunk is your sweet spot, and the last 1/4 may be all knew to you
- Control your pace: control your pace... CONTROL YOUR PACE! Don't sprint until the very very end. You have a long run in front of you, so sick back and control your pace
- Hydrate. Use the water stations and know what comes first... Is it water, or is it Gatorade? Are you thirsty or are your muscles tired? When approaching the station, make sure you look the volunteer in the eye, slow down, drink it, drop the cup, and keep going.
- Take it all in and celebrate!There is no better feeling than crossing the finish line. Enjoy it and eat all the free cookies and bananas you can.
How to Speed Up Recovery After a Run
- Refuel and Re hydrate: drink some water, have something to eat. Drink some more water, and perhaps a Gatorade. Just make sure you watch yourself. If your run was on a hot day, keep a close eye on how much you sweat, and how much fluid you lost. The first signs of dehyradtion are: dry, sticky mouth, sleepiness or tiredness, dry skin, and headache.
- Ice Bath: we're not going to pretend that we're ice bath exports... Instead check out these 8 Dos and Dont's here.
- Stretch and Roll: read above. You should already be a pro!
Are you ready to start your journey? Then click below to learn more about BASE by FitMyFoot custom insoles, and get happy feet today.