Lindsay is a longtime Stroller Strider and Body Backer, and she's excited to be kicking off her second session of Run Club here at FIT4MOM Severn! Today, she's sharing some tips for runners of all levels, whether you've got race goals or want to get some running in at any of our other programs.
After almost 10 years of completing 5ks, 10ks, 10-milers, half marathons and one marathon, I take for granted a lot of the information I have picked up along the way. While I am by no means an expert, I would like to share a few tidbits I have learned in my running journey.
The information below is based solely (get it?) on experience – I'm not a doctor. If you ever have questions about injuries or treatments, I highly recommend finding a trusted health care professional.
60 Minutes to Gatorade
I love Gatorade. There is something about that processed sugar water infused with electrolytes that I have loved since being a kid. When I started running I often would run for 20 minutes and think, "I deserve a Gatorade!" I thought I need the electrolytes.
Turns out, your electrolytes are not depleted enough to require supplemental electrolytes after 20 minutes of running. Or 30 minutes. Or 40 minutes. Or even 50 minutes. The magic number is 60 minutes, which can take you varying distances depending on your pace. For me that is about 6 miles. While this discovery was sad to say the least, it has helped me more properly fuel following long runs and not over do it after short runs.
Elsa was Right – Ice is Magical. . . .
Every time I was sore or hurt after a long run – my coaches, physical therapist, doctors and the internet would tell me to put ice on it. It always sounded so magical to me – cold water stops joint pain (insert mind blown emoji.) But – it works. It reduces inflammation significantly. It magically makes sore muscles not sore. It makes golf ball size bumps on your forehead disappear (true story).
It is often one of the easiest treatment methods and last things that people turn to, but 10 minutes of repeated cold compression is what I recommend first with any running pains.
Foam Roller – Runner’s Faithful Friend
I am a huge believer in foam rolling magic as well. My key takeaway from this investment at PT is that massage or pressure is key to loosening muscles and increasing blood flow. So – I often wondered – how do I recreate that experience at home for less?
The answer: Foam Roller. Two minutes rolling a day on each IT band or sore quads has enabled me to make it to numerous amounts of races that I thought injuries would count me out of. It is painful at first, but with daily usage of the foam roller the discomfort of using it dissipates and the magic of massage stays with you.
Core Is Core
When I go for a long run, coming back and doing a core workout while my children vie for my attention is the last thing I want to do. In fact, unless I am in the middle of a #BodyBack session or physical therapy, my core gets neglected. But every time an injury flares up, the first lecture I receive from health care professionals usually starts with, “You know this muscle or joint is strained because your core muscles are weak.” A strong core positively impacts our posture in running and life in general in ways that a finance major like me cannot explain. Constant attention to your core is key to having a long successful running career and remaining injury-free.
Shoe Selection Matters
When I was growing up, I had to have Nike running shoes. I mean they had the magical air bubble and my cool notch at school was just a lot higher when I was walking on an air bubble. But, in and after high school, I suffered continuous stress fractures in my fifth metatarsal. Turns out those same Nikes that were making me cool (in my head) were breaking my bones – continually. After visiting a running store where they studied my running stride – I was referred to an unknown, much less cool brand that time after time have protected my metatarsals from strains and breaks.
Shoes choice matters more than you think; especially as you continue to up your mileage.
Mind Over Matter
One of my favorite sayings is “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” I love this saying because there is just so much truth to it. When I was playing competitive soccer growing up, I hated running. I remember in high school a soccer buddy told me she was running a half marathon – 13.1 miles. I oftened wondered why and how anyone could ever do that. That's hours of running!
But in 2008, my boyfriend (now husband) who I had gotten into running, suggested we sign up for a half marathon. Never one to be outdone, I agreed. But mentally, those months leading up to that race, I wondered if I could make it that far, whereas my boyfriend never questioned it. We ran 13.1 miles in two hours and 27 minutes. My boyfriend's confidence in our ability to do it was unwavering and that can-do attitude led us both to run the entire race and cross the finish line. He knew we could, and he was right.
A lot of people tell me that they "aren't runners." They will continually be correct until they decide that they can run. I would love to help prove you wrong--deep down, you are absolutely a runner.
Join Lindsay and the rest of our Run Club in the upcoming six week session to train for the Jingle Bell 5K or race of your choice! More information here.