(Remember to consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine.)
Welcome to the world of running! So glad you’re joining us for the Third Annual Lite Up the Nite for Mental Health. Here are a few helpful hints to get you started on your journey to our June 21st 5k.
It’s time to start dressing like a runner. All you will need is the right pair of running/walking shoes, a stop watch, and a little motivation. When looking into running shoes, it’s important to pick shoes that are right for you. No matter how much you want to look like a hobbit in those toe shoes, and though those neon sneakers would match our race theme, if you’re in the wrong pair of shoes, you run the risk of injuring yourself. If you’re new to walking or running, visit a specialty running store. The professionals will look at your feet and gait to see what shoe will work best for your running or walking style.
You’ve got the shoes, time for a plan. On our Facebook page, you can find a 10 week beginner’s program. Depending on what your current fitness level is, you will want to start your plan earlier or later. Don’t feel like you’re limited to this plan--there are plenty of quality plans you can find online through Runner’s World or Cool Running. Though Google is a wonderful thing, you can always ask an expert in person. Local running stores will be able to help you out if you have questions about your plan, and often have group training programs for beginners.
Remember, don’t be a slave to your plan. Look at it as a guide, not a tyrant. If you’re sick, injured, or need to take a day off to attend your sister’s birthday party, it’s ok to miss or swap days. Be flexible. You can’t train for a running event in a day, nor will you lose everything you’ve gained by missing a day either.
Ok, you’ve got the shoes, you’ve got a stop watch, you’ve got a plan, now grab a friend. Speaking from experience, it’s much easier to train for something when there is someone else huffing and puffing beside you—able to share the woes of sore muscles and the runner’s high. I like to call it running therapy, but more on that in a later post.
Starting a new exercise routine changes the hydration and nutrition needs of your body. Only 10 percent of people are properly hydrated. The rest us may want to consider DRINKING MORE WATER. This is especially true when you start exercising. Cacti don’t run very fast, and those fancy toe shoes won’t get you very far if you’re running low on water.
You won’t be moving much if your caloric needs aren’t met either. Just remember not to go overboard with extra calories. You may want to talk to a nutritionist or registered dietician if you are concerned about your nutrition needs while exercising. Again, consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.
Good luck, and see you June 21!
Look for the next blog post March 15 when I discuss mental health and running.
Have a story you want to share about how mental health or exercise has affected your life? Consider sharing it on this blog! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story!