Hi! I’m at the lovely beach for the week, but I am glad to have the lovely Alex write a post for me on running! That’s one thing I dont know much about so enjoy! It’s a great post!
I am so glad that this crazy working, no break, kicking butt girl Katie finally took a vacation. Seriously, this girl has been making dough this summer.
I am Alex over at The Run Within. I began my blog just a few months ago with the hope of connecting with the healthy living community. I wanted to share my passion for distance running, health, fitness, recovery and celiac with others that understood my level of crazy. Let’s be honest, we all that bit of crazy in us to continue to pump out posts like we do.
Running was something that I started to do on a whim after first being exposed to it during tryouts for soccer in high school. By junior year, I had quit soccer and became a cross-country lover. From there, it’s been a wonderful journey and more half marathons than I can count.
But building distance and endurance takes time. I didn’t just start with 10 miles one day. Nor is distance running a straight road of increase, increase, increase. These are mistakes that many beginning runners have made and even experienced ones lose sight of. My pelvic bone stress fracture last July was my wake up call that even the most experienced distance runners forget to listen to their bodies and lose their smarts of training. I learned a lot those six months of recovery with no running what so ever. And guess what… that no running period came and went. I am alive and even smarter with my runs. So how do you build mileage?
- Create a plan. I know not all of us have the ability to get a trainer but look at books and professionals that run for their job. However, remember that a plan needs to cater to your body. If you can’t run everyday, find something that gives you runs three to four days a week rather than six days.
- Start small. Ya, this is a given. I would never have a first time runner go out there and bang out 9 miles. Not smart, that is an injury waiting to happen. The best thing to do is start with running three days a week, building your miles from those. As your distance goes up, try running more frequently but spreading out the miles.
- Listen to your body. I can’t tell you what your body will ask for. That is up to you to really obey the pains, blips or twinges your body will experience.
- Cross train. I was terrible at this. I would run run run and that is where my overuse injury came from. Cross training builds your endurance and ability – not setting you back. That is so hard to remember but rings so true.
- Take rest days. I would be lying if I said I used to do this. I didn’t, enter injury. Rest days are idea. Our bodies need to heal and replenish. Don’t be afraid to take that breather once, twice or multiple times a week especially at the beginning. Your body will thank you.
- Fuel your body. Especially when you increase mileage, there is no need to cut calories. You need to make sure you are fueling before, during if it is long and of course after your run. The best is a simple carb before, sports gels or beans (I love Sharkies!) during and protein + carb after.
As I said these are GENERAL guidelines. No matter what, you should react to how your body reacts to adding mileage. Magic numbers don’t work for everyone. When I came back from my injury, I started with walks, then walk/jogs, then short jogs, then maybe one longer jog a week. You see my point? I went small, steady and with purpose making sure I checked into what my body needed.
Now go out there and run!