Thursday, January 31, 2013

5 Tried, Tested & True Beginner Running Tips From.. Yours Truly!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

I took a day off from EVERYTHING yesterday, and because of it I feel bad that I haven't done any school work in quite some time... My week has been a bit chaotic and last night I decided that 10 gluten-free oreo "wannabe" cookies was a greeeeeat idea along with a Cadbury Creme Egg and a glass of my fav white wine. I laid in bed, watched the end of Dr. Phil, watched Ellen and watched Anderson... my usual line-up on nights that I refuse to do anything productive... it was great and I totally needed the time off!

With that being said, tonight I'm going to post an article I wrote a while back but never actually put on my own blog. Since I'm getting back into running more I decided to share my 5 Tried, Tested & True Beginner Running Tips from when I started running a year ago! Let me know what you think :)...

I started running in the beginning of 2012. I had set my sights on a half-marathon and I wanted to complete it in May. That gave me a total of 16 weeks to train for this race, having never run outside before in my life. What was I thinking???

I started running and realized how much I enjoyed getting outside, breathing in the fresh air and looking out across the lake that I was running around. When the runs got longer, the times got harder. I found myself dreading my runs. I didn’t want to go out for 2 hours on a Sunday morning and run. I wanted to stay in bed, curl up and watch a movie on tv. Knowing that the running was going to exhaust me, I quickly realized that the 2 hour run actually turned into a 2 hour run with a 30 minute shower to warm up, 40 minutes of lying in bed with ice on my knees and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. I guess back then I’d call those days “write offs”.

However, looking back and reflecting on my first experience running a long distance (long for me, it’s not long for an ultra-marathoner!) has taught me a lot about myself and I’d like to share my findings with you!

If you have time to run, you have time to stretch

As a rule that I now follow for running, I take the amount of time I went running, and spend 10% of that on stretching. I can vividly remember coming home from a long run and just wanting to crash on the bed. I think that I would have had a lot less pain and I would have prevented the pain I now have if I would have just taken some time to stretch. I don’t just mean your legs. Running outside is a full body workout so make sure you stretch out EVERYTHING, legs, arms, butt, back, hips, abs, shoulders and neck. If it can be stretched - just stretch it!

The foam roller may feel like the devil, but he is actually your friend

I absolutely dread the foam roller. I have one in my apartment and I try to tuck it away and pretend like I can’t find it. I’m just kidding. I do use it when I feel like my IT bands are extremely tight which is usually after a longer run (or doing resistance training on my lower body). The foam roller is a magical tool for runners because runners do get so tight. The foam roller is somewhat like a rolling pin for your muscles. You will feel like you have large lumps in your muscles - those are knots and they are the most painful part of foam rolling however the foam roller gets rid of them so that your muscles are much longer and leaner!

Don’t think that running is a good enough workout for your legs

I made this mistake early on in my training. It’s a bad mindset to be in. You use your legs for hours and hours when running, why would you need to do weight training as well? Or why would I do weight training, make my legs so sore and heavy and then try and run? Trust me... I’ve been there too... I understand your concerns. However, the stronger your legs are, the more they’re able to propel you forward in the running movement, which results in you getting farther with each step which results in a faster time for your race. I would definitely recommend a lot of walking lunges, a lot of calf presses and a lot of compound movements.

No new is good on race day

When race day comes around, NEVER, and I repeat, EVER try anything brand new. Wear shoes you’ve worn plenty of times, clothes you’ve ran in a million times and socks you know aren’t going to give you blisters. Don’t try new products like gels or gummies on race day as you don’t know how they’ll react with your body. I made this mistake once on my longest training run. I took a gel and it upset my stomach so much that I had to back track to go use a washroom in a random hotel which turned the whole run into a complete disaster. Never again will I try anything for the first time on a long run.

A half-marathon is a big deal... splurg and get fitted for proper running shoes

Here are my babies. My fav
running shoes EVER..
Half-marathons are becoming more and more popular but that doesn’t make it less of a big deal. They are hard on the body, they are repetitive and exhausting. Having proper running shoes can make a world of difference in your running experience. I’ve ran in crappy shoes before and they have caused me ankle pain, knee pain and hip pain. I recently got new, much better quality (and much pricier, unfortunately) shoes and I haven’t had any of the same sort of pain since. Choosing a brand such as Asics (like my shoes!) or Inov8 would be ideal, they sell top end running shoes so you know you'd be getting a quality pair!

These are my top 5 recommendations for people who are starting out on their running journey and they are all tried, tested and true. I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me an email or visit your local running store and they’ll be able to help you out as well! Running my first half-marathon was an amazing and emotional experience and I would recommend it to anyone who’s getting into running!
Taadaaaa... I'm glad I've wrote articles before because in times of need (or utter busy-ness due to utter lazy-ness) I can just post one for all of you and hope that it passes as an ok blog post! I feel bad not writing more, but I promise to post a real "life" post. :)...
For those who missed my last post, I'm having a pretty amazing giveaway. Sun Warrior and Raw Elements are letting me give away a large bag of Sun Warrior protein!! It's my most favourite protein ever! It tastes great, it doesn't upset my stomach and I can feel good about it because it's organic, vegan and gluten-free! I never trust the proteins that can sit on shelves for years and years in plastic containers... doesn't it seem strange that we pump ourselves full of chemicals after a workout??? I'll save that conversation for another day, but in the meantime - ENTER MY GIVEAWAY HERE!! :)
Thanks for letting me fake a blog post for tonight :).


  1. Great tips! Another one: Ice is your friend! ;) ICE ICE BABY!

    1. Ah yes.. How did I forget this one?! I iced my knees and ankles all the time! :) xo thanks Kat!

  2. Those ARE great tips. I started running regularly in 2011. I made the rookie mistake or running a lot of miles without cross training and had to take two months off for achilles tendonitis to heal. This year, I spent the winter running low miles consistently, and doing a boot camp class three times a week. I'm so much stronger and faster now. Love your blog.

    1. Hey Miss Prickly (awesome name)! So glad you enjoy my blog!! Your injury sounds painful... Glad to know you're better! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger :)

  3. Replies
    1. Hey! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Great tips Sarah! I agree, especially with the investing in proper running shoes and stretching. I did a half marathon in 2008 and I really enjoyed it.

    1. Hey Melissa! Have you done any more since? What kind of runners do you wear?

  5. Thanks for this post

  6. Really great tips! And we run in the same shoes!!! Same color even :-)

    I think we both got into running in kind of the same way... you just ran your half a lot sooner than I did ;-) but I AM doing my second one on the 17th... definitely will be paying more attention to these tips!

    I also may share them with the beginner's 5k group I'm coaching over the next couple months :-)

    1. Hey Sam! Congrats on running your second one - that's amazing!! I'd be so excited if you shared this with your running group!! :) thanks for stopping by girly!

  7. AWESOME tips. Especially "IF you have time to run, you have time to stretch." SO SO SO SO SO important! I can use that reminder quite often, too. I try to sneak in runs, but need to leave enough time for a solid stretch.

    1. Its the number one thing I used to skip!! I never thought it'd result in some serious pain! Thanks for sharing your thought! :)

  8. Sarah, I enjoyed your very informative post. Unfortunately, I'm reading it while laid up with a pulled knee tendon. I know better, but went on a run after a week of being snowed in and did so without stretching first. Lack muscles, no warm up, and no stretching resulted in what will probably be a couple of more days being idle... and now the weather is beautiful, so prefect for running :(


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