With my 5k out of the way, and Evelien’s coming up I thought I would share some handy tips -some of which I wish I had known beforehand – with her and all of you lovely people.
What to wear
Depending on the event you have signed up for you may end up wearing neon coloured tutu’s, wigs, swimming bands, morph-suits, or just plain old running shorts, shirt, and shoes. Whatever running you do, whether in a race or not, always take care in deciding on the right running shoes for you. If you are a road runner, you may want running shoes that provide support and cushion the impact. If you are running cross country, trail running shoes might be better for you to avoid slip-and-sliding. Whatever running shoes you choose, make sure to work them in. Running a race in new shoes makes for a “blister mania”. I love my running shoes – bright pink Nike free run – I proudly wear them and feel more energetic as soon as I put them on. I also have some Adidas trail running shoes which are quite a bit tighter, supporting my feet perfectly when off-roading. Then I have my old trainers, dirty old asics runners which are my staple on fun runs as I don’t mind them getting muddy and covered in paint.
How to run 5k
If you are not a runner, running a 5k may sound daunting. Luckily, there are some amazingly helpful training plans on the internet that help you get yourself ready to complete a 5k run. My favourite is the NHS’s Couch to 5K. It gives you a week-by-week plan and increases the difficulty level each week. Plus!! It has podcasts! so you can listen while you run – How awesome -. Couch to 5k also has easy to understand tips on how to run correctly which are great. As my running buddy was telling me during the Neon Night Run, I run funny: “you look like you’re floating…you don’t even look like you are touching the ground!” Whenever I’m on a run with my boyfriend he likes to remind me that I do not run… I prance! – Thanks hunni! – Whatever way you run, whoever you do it with… just have fun. If you are feeling brave… Breakthrough has running plans for 5k, 10k, half marathon AND marathon. Good luck!
Staying on track
The biggest hurdle to staying on track is time. I’m sure you know the excuse “oh I really wanted to go for a run, but just didn’t have the time.” yet you probably had time to binge watch one of your Netflix favs. You’re likely to be able to finish a 5k run/jog in the time it takes to watch only 1 episode of The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Orange is the New Black, American Horror Story, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy etc. – yes the Netflix addiction is real –
So time isn’t really the issue now is it. What is a 20-40 minute run in the space of a day? It’s when you get home after a day at work, and just can’t be bothered to make the effort to get changed and get out of the house – trust me I get it! – I found that if I stay home, have dinner first and plan on running later in the evening… it will never happen. BUT if I get home from work, get into my running gear, and head out straight away I am absolutely fine, or if I have arranged to run with someone else you feel like you have to meet that friend at that particular time, otherwise you just let them down! Now cancelling once ok, twice you can still get away with that… but any more and you will get the reputation of being a “flake”. When I moved house and didn’t have a running buddy other than the boyf I thought. Wouldn’t it be handy to see who runs around here and wants a partner? They should make an app for that!!
Personally I think stretching after a run is super important. I know some people (i.e., the boyf) can’t be bothered to take the time to fully stretch afterwards, but I don’t want my muscles to cramp up, if I don’t stretch it’ll look like I’m stuck to the toilet seat when walking around. What people often forget is to stretch their arms and sides as well! After a hilly run I find that my sides and arms are all tense from what I call “pumping up hill”. I swish my arms alongside my body /hip height, which helps me stay up right and move forward. So a good stretch afterwards just makes me go “ahh that’s so nice!” Also like a good calf, hip flexor, hamstring, and ITB stretch. Checkout NHS LiveWell for some instructions on how to do these stretches properly. Yoga is also great for runners, especially if you like to keep your muscles nicely long and lean! – Yoga for All and Everything. –
Then the final thing every runner needs to do before their race is to psych up! Get ready, get warm, get excited! Running Events usually have a whole section in their planning to get everyone warmed up and boosted to start the race. The RockSolidRace last year made us do press ups and sit ups and jumping jacks in the mud while screaming at us through a megaphone. The NeonNightRun had guys in morph suits and tutus make us do all kinds of shapes and jumps and kicks with music blaring out of the van truck they were stood on. It was so much fun!! Everyone was counting down together and when the start signal sounded there was a massive Rooaaarr of people charging on their way. The energy of the running crowd is such a rush!
That’s it from me today. Best of Luck to Evelien and her fellow lady runners!