With my second half marathon fast approaching (September 23rd to be exact), I thought it would be nice to have a guest blog post from another runner! Enter Jen. She is a marathon mom. Click HERE to check out her fabulous blog. Jen was sweet enough to put together a post. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did and leave a comment and let us know what you think or if you have any "running" related questions that you would never ask me because you know I am not a real runner.
I think I am asked at least daily for running advice whether it be from those wanting to start running or those wanting to improve. Recently I've had many questions from friends and family training for their first races. I love sharing my passion for running and hope I can pass this on to others too. I sat thinking about the most frequent questions I am asked and decided to put together a list, feel free to add your advice or questions...
When do I start to like running? I think this is the most frequent question and I always hate to say "there are some days I still hate running!" For me the key is to take it easy some days and push myself other days, enjoy the surroundings while out and savour the victories whether this is running that 1st mile or a PR. Like anything new it takes work and does get easier, I still remember when 3 miles was a chore and now I can't remember the last time I wanted to stop after 3 miles.
Along the same lines: When does it get easier?Everyone is different, but you need to listen to your body and not feel that you need to push right away or on every run. Like I said above it is something new and will get better. Remember it took us more then 1 step to learn to walk.
How do I motivate myself? Sign up for a race to have a goal and soak in the excitement of the race atmosphere. Find friends or a group to run with, making that commitment to others is motivation to get started and it is always nice to have company in tough times to push us further, then go out for coffee afterwards. Listen to music, buy new running clothes and enjoy the fact that you will feel better and have more energy.
How do you find time to run with a toddler? Before I was a mom I was told so many times "just wait you will stop running." That didn't happen and I knew it wouldn't. It takes time management and some compromise. I often workout early in the morning (4am on workdays), take advantage of nap time and hit the treadmill at home or the gym childcare is a great benefit. Take the kid with, for us it was the only way I was guaranteed a nap the 1st year! But now we look at animals, stop at the park and I get a complete workout. Matt and I schedule long runs, sometimes splitting days and other times splitting BOB duty. I might sacrifice an extra hour of sleep or time to read or clean the house for a run, but it makes me a better mother and everyone is much happier.
What are the best shoes? Don't buy what is cute or the brand your friend has. Go to a running store for a proper shoe fitting and don't be afraid to take them back if they don't work after a run (most stores around here are fine if they are slightly worn). Please don't wear that pair of shoes you bought 5 years ago for step class. Most complaints I hear from new runners is that their legs, knees, feet hurt and then I find out they are wearing bad shoes, such a simple solution to prevent frustration.
Is it really okay to be a vegetarian and run? Yes, I have not eaten red meat in nearly 20 years and gave up the rest 3 years ago when I was pregnant. Find good alternative protein sources, I rely a lot on quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, tofu and yogurt. No Meat Athlete has a great list. I managed to run 50-60 mph and breastfeed on a vegetarian diet for 2 years.
Is it really okay to run while pregnant? Okay so this doesn't usually come from new runners and is not medical advice, just my experience. Yes, as long as it is something you were doing prior and have a good fitness level. I ran a marathon and multiple halfs while pregnant and it was one of the best things I did. I had to listen to my body and take the pressure off myself knowing I was responsible for more then just a time that day. I think running made my pregnancy and labor much easier.
I love helping others find a healthy lifestyle and improve, whether this be through running or another form.
It's Jen. Thanks for guest blogging! xo