Fitness: 6-Steps to becoming a runner

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This Training Tuesday I thought I would share some information about running. A majority of the emails that I receive about fitness always seem to be centered around running. Most people usually give it a good try for a few months, then give up in frustration when things are not going smoothly. To be honest initially I was not a fan of running, I hated it. For those of you who have tried you know exactly what I am talking about. From the cramping, thirst, chest pain, shin splints, breathing issues, sports bras and the plethora of other things we face when we run; it is easy to just give up. So here are a few tips to make your transition to running easier:

Get the right sneakers. This is a big one. Not, having the right sneakers will shorten your run life. I am sorry to say the right sneakers for you to run in are usually are not found at footlocker or any of the other famous sneaker stores. If you are experiencing foot, shin and knee problems when you run chances are the right sneaker is the first remedy. The best place to get the right sneakers is a store that specializes in running. Usually this process involves bringing your old sneakers so they can look at the run pattern. From there, they will look at how you walk, they will watch you run on a treadmill and they will ask you several questions about the manner in which your run. It may be a little more expensive but you will thank me later!

Eat at the right time. This process can be a little trial and error at first but there are generally a few rules to stick to. You shouldn't eat a heavy meal right before you run, it is run suicide. Instead, wait 2 to 3 hours for your meal to digest. Additionally, you need to eat something. If you run in the morning have something light like a protein bar (stay away from heavy sugar this usually will make you want to go to the bathroom during the run). If you run in the evening make sure you have a snack about 90 minutes before your run, something like a rice cake, protein bar or half of peanut butter sandwich. Stay away from fiber, diary and sugar those tend to produce cramps.

Start slow and build. It would be nice if we could start our first day back running (after not being active for 3 months or more) and bang out 10 miles. It doesn't exactly work like that. You must build slowly. Instead of looking at the miles in the beginning focus on the time. Start running for 20 minutes and then keep adding on 10 minutes each week. Before you know it you will be up to 10 miles or more and be very comfortable.

 Wear the right clothing. For me this is the biggest annoyance while running. Whether it is a sports bar that doesn't hold, shorts that keep riding up or a shirt that doesn't wick away your sweat clothing issues can be a big deterrent to running. I am not saying go out an buy a whole new wardrobe, but find your problem area and get the proper garment to fit you. I tend to wear clothes that fit you close (not too tight) work best. While out of shape areas will flap in the wind under baggy clothes, a more fitted attire will help to keep things in place.

Properly hydrate the day before. I can not say this enough! Most people believe that only drinking while you run is important. While it is important to drink during, it is much more important to drink before. I tend to drink 16 more ounces then normal the day before a run. Keep a thermos with you and keep filling it up throughout the day. It is crucial you get plenty of water before running you will feel a HUGE difference when you are properly hydrated.

Get the proper rest. Feeling well resting will give you the extra kick at the end. Usually if you run tired you feel restless and want to quit. Having enough sleep will allow you do your best and run better. This is especially important when you start getting into longer runs.

Are there any additional tips you have to becoming a runner? Do you have any questions about running that we didn't address? Leave a comment!