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The Fun in Run-10K: Here I come!

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Discover the runner in you and not only will you see amazing results in your body tone, you’ll gain strength, endurance and feel empowered!

You are ready to get in the best shape of your life. The past years, extra pounds have settled in and your fitness level isn’t what it was before the baby, work, and school became priorities. Running can be the solution to get you back into great shape or even better shape then before. But the pain and suffering of the first run can be too much and often people give up before they even got started. Does this sound familiar? Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way to create the fun in run, you just have to follow a few simple guidelines and you’ll be running your first 10K this summer and love it!

Find a 10K that is about 4-6 months away from your first run out. Try to find a buddy to do it with you, but make sure they are committed so they can be a motivation for you. Having the date and money spent is a good motivator and will keep you accountable moving forward.

“The wrong shoes and size is the first mistake people make when they start to run,” says personal trainer, Dawn Theilen, of Dawn of Health. Before you run go to a quality shoe store that has an educated staff. They should have you walk and ask what type of running you intend to do. Make sure you buy a size larger than your normal size so that there is a whole thumbs length between your big toe and the shoe. This will help you avoid toe injuries and give your feet the space they need during your run.

It is wise to buy a heart rate monitor to keep you in your aerobic fat/carb burn for best results. Most HRM have calorie burned information and other tools to help you keep track of your speed and progress. If you don’t want to use a HRM then make sure you can carry on a conversation when you run without losing your breath.

Hydrate! Make sure you are hydrated before you run. Drink at least 1 glass of water 30 minutes before your run in case you don’t have water along your run. If you are dehydrated, a great natural source of electrolytes is coconut water.

Fuel is mandatory for a good run. There are a variety of good energy gels and gummies at bike shops that you can take 15 minutes before and during the last half of your run. Don’t worry about the extra calories. The energy you get will improve your speed and endurance which will translate into more calories burned.

Now it’s time to get out there and run. If you have not run for some time, are over weight by more than 20 lbs. or have injuries that need protecting then you will want to mix walking and running for your first 4/5 runs. Run 5 minutes and then walk 5 minutes. Make sure you are aerobic before you run again. Make your first run 30 minutes.

For runners who can run for 30 minutes already, make sure that you start out very slowly. “The most common mistake in running is running to fast from the get go,” says Dawn. If you pace yourself from the start you will suffer less and last longer. If you feel that your pace is too slow after 15 minutes speed up but keep aerobic.

Cramping and shoulder fatigue are common in your first few runs. Try to massage out your shoulders and shake out your arms to relieve tension. If you have a stomach cramp press on it and breath into it to ease it up. Most cramps and aches will come and go at the beginning and fade after your first few runs.

Most importantly is how you run. Running shoes tend to force your feet to land on your heel and roll to the toe. This causes stress on the joints which can make running a negative. Avoid this by running from your mid foot to the toe and try to avoid striking down with your heel. Your weight slightly shifts forward. This is the key to successful running. It takes a couple of runs to get used to it, but you’ll feel the difference and your joints will thank you.

And last but not least stretch immediately after your run. Make sure to stretch your quads, hamstrings, hips and calves. Allow at least 5 minutes for the stretch to ease sore muscles and to keep them healthy for the continued runs.

Don’t give up after your first run! Give yourself at least four runs, no more than a week apart and you’ll see that running can be fun and the suffering fades fast. Make this spring the time for fun and run, baby run.


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