Yesterday, after a most disappointing ‘run’ I have determined that I officially have reached ex-runner status. After having Jewel six months ago (holy smokes…), running has been a tremendous challenge for me. A big problem is I don’t have the time (lie…yes I do…but I fill my time with other more important mommy things). But a bigger problem is it’s hard! Prior to this, I totally took advantage of my ability to run with ease. For the first time in my life (OK, maybe for the first time in a long, long time), I am a beginner runner. It’s OK though. This is fixable.
So for all you wannabe runners…or those who have slipped out of shape, here are three simple tips I have created for myself to get my rear back in gear!
1. Eat well. Drink well.
You will only be as good as the food you eat. And sorry y’all, you must hydrate with water, water, water. Small meals throughout the day. Lots of water sipping. And limit food intake to preferably two hours prior to running.
2. Accept challenges. They will happen.
Aside from the normal muscle aches and pains, getting back into running has been majorly challenging for one reason. Side stitches. You know…the cramps that start under your rib cage and somehow manage to take over your entire abdominal area, leaving you hunched over and gasping for breaths. I get them. Bad. And after a little research, here’s what I’ve concluded…
Unfortunately it’s unclear as to what causes these stabbing sensations (sigh). But, alas! Here are some possible ways to prevent that feeling of a slow and painful death while running;
-proper warm-ups (dynamic stretching that includes activating abdominal muscles)
-slow, controlled breathing
-tightening of abdominal muscles while running
-decreasing exertion until pain subsides
-core strengthening exercises/overall improved fitness levels
3. Slow and steady. It will take time. It’s OK.
Becoming a runner (even if it’s again) will take time. And it’s better that way. It will be better for your body and it will be better for your confidence. Start with running 2-3 times a week for short periods of time (20 minutes or less). During this time, work through a series of walks/runs. Maybe you jog for four minutes, walk for one. Maybe you need to jog for one minute, walk for one minute. Start where you are at and keep in mind the goal; increase jog time, decrease walk time. And always warm-up with dynamic stretching and cool down with a combination of dynamic/static stretching. I honestly never realized the importance of combining dynamic and static stretching prior to my coaching classes. It’s important! So do it.
There you have it. You’ve probably heard all of this before, so thank you. Thank you for listening to my ramblings. My little self pep talk to becoming a runner, again.
T-minus 112 days to 13.1 race day.