Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Katie's Running Guide for Non-Runners

Run to the Sun, 2007

It's funny that I am even writing this post. I have many talents but athletics have never been one of them...that's Abigail and Michael's thing. However, for the past few weeks I have gotten back into training with the goal of running the Derby Festival Mini Marathon at the end of April. I ran a few races back in high school and haven't done much with it since. Needless to say, I am no expert. BUT what I have realized is that you don't have to be an expert to don't even need to be athletic. All you need is a pair of running shoes. 

Also, there have been a few things that can help with running and getting motivated (which I've figured out mostly through trial and error) and I thought it might be good to share them here so that if anyone else is having trouble getting started that maybe I could help a little.

1. Set a goal. 

Pick a race, any race, and sign up. It's simple...if you paid money for it, you're more likely to do it! There are so many interesting races out there now. Find one that makes you excited to run!

Just to get you started, some really cool races I've come across are: 

The Color Run
Color Me Rad 5k
Run for Your Lives
Mud Mania
Country Music Marathon and Mini Marathon
Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon

2. Make a training schedule.

I work so much better from a schedule so before I started, I made a plan for the entire spring and put it in my agenda where I could see it every day. That way, I could mentally prepare myself for when I needed to run and work it into my schedule. Also, seeing it down on paper made it feel like something that I had to do...making it much more unlikely for me to blow it off.

My training schedule was based on one I found online that I extended a bit on the front end to help work up my milage. I'm currently on Week 5 (out of 17) but you can start where ever you want!

Here is my schedule if you want to look at it!

3. Figure out how you run.

A lot of people enjoy running with friends, but I like running by myself. It gives me time to be alone and just think. But different things work for different people, so what might work for someone you know might not be what you should do. Just think about how you would most enjoy the time and make that part of your routine.

4. Map your route.

My favorite site to use is USA Track and Field's map. That way, I knew exactly how far I needed to go to reach my goals. I used to try to track it in my car but I think this website makes it a whole lot easier. Also, get creative with your routes. Like I said before...figure out what works for you. For me, I love running in neighborhoods because I enjoy looking at the different houses but it's fun to mix it this weekend I was able to run on the beach! Some people might enjoy running on trails and seeing nature. Just figure out what scenery can help "distract you" and map routes that include that!

The view from my Italy runs

5. Get a good playlist. 

I've found that running to music is what really gets me motivated. Recently, I've been listening to *Nsync Pandora and it helps to pump me up (seriously you all, I have no shame...I do the "Bye Bye Bye" dance during my run and don't care who sees!)

If you need some new songs, some of my favorites include:

Blankest Year - Nada Surf
The City Is At War - Cobra Starship
Dirty Little Secret - The All-American Rejects
The Fighter - Gym Class Heroes
Goodbye - Kristina DeBarge
Lucky Strike - Maroon 5
Night Drive - The All-American Rejects
Show Me The Money - Petey Pabloe
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
Valerie - Amy Winehouse


I can't emphasize this enough. Back in high school, I was in the chiropractor all the time during my training, but I can't do that now because I'm not in Louisville. What I have found is that if I really take the time to stretch well before and after my run, my problems are minimal. Again, I'm not an expert and if you have serious problems, talk to your doctor first but I do know for a fact that stretching is ultra important and can make a big difference.

7. (last but not least) Know that some days are going to suck

I was laughing the other day because my runs almost always go like this: 

First 1/2 mile - "This sucks...I don't want to do this...why did get myself into this...this was a terrible idea"

Last 1/2 mile - "I love is so great...I can do anything...this rocks...I rock!"

What happens in the middle? I get into my groove. The hardest part is getting out the door but once you get going, it gets easier. And once you get back, you get a rush of endorphins that makes it all worth it. Some days are great days and some days are really hard. That's the way it's always going to be...and the hard days you just have to power through.

Derby Festival Team Marathon, 2007

I don't know how insightful any of this was but hopefully it can at least get you thinking that if I can do it, anyone can do it!

Let me know if anyone decides to do any races because I'm doing a few of them!!