I couldn’t remember the last time I ran. After years of running – pushing a double jog stroller every day when my girls were babies, training for and running a half marathon when they were toddlers and even earning myself a running knee injury – I had gotten out of the habit of running. But I went on my first run in a long time a few days ago and it felt great. It can definitely feel intimidating to start running or get back into it if you’ve been out a while, so I’m sharing what I believe are the tools you need if you want to enjoy running.
I had forgotten how much I love a good solo run outside. A head clearer, I call it. I no longer run for distance and could care less about how far I’ve run. Now, it’s all about maintaining a steady pace and taking one-minute long walk breaks as I need them so that I can keep going with great energy. I’m not racing anyone, including myself.
I call it a head clearer because this kind of run (which is only about 30-40 minutes) feels sort of meditative, hearing the steady rhythm of your own breath and focusing on each step. I always gain clarity about whatever’s on my mind when I’m running
If you’ve been thinking about getting into running or starting back, read on for the tools you need if you want to enjoy running.
The Tools You Need If You Want To Enjoy Running
No. 1 | Get into the right mindset
It’s as simple as this – if you run, no matter how long or how far, you’re a runner. So let go of the mindset that you can’t run because you’re not training for a half marathon. No one you’ll see out there on the street is going to judge you. Focus on the way running could make you feel, if you allow it to. There really is such a thing as a “runner’s high.”
No. 2 | Hydration
It’s extremely important that you go into your run well-hydrated. If I’m running in the morning, I’ll have a large glass of water before I go and a large glass after the run, and every day I drink half my body weight in ounces of water. Hydration is part of a healthy lifestyle, and there are real dangers to beginning any kind of physical activity in a dehydrated state. Read more about how dehydration keeps you from looking and feeling your best.
No. 3 | Music
I use the Spotify app to find music that suits whatever mood I’m in for the run. There’s a great playlist called Cardio that’s made by Spotify that I love to run to. It’s lengthy and it includes current, upbeat songs. I’ve also made a few of my own playlists that are a bit more eclectic and include some older songs from The Killers, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Outkast and Green Day. Find or make a playlist that motivates you because you’re having a blast while you run.
No. 4 | Shoes
This one’s a biggie because the wrong pair of shoes can be a total buzzkill on a run. Running in the wrong shoes could land you with blisters or numb toes, or even bigger problems like hip, knee and back injuries. Read more about the importance of getting good shoes for walking and running.
No. 5 | Time And Pace Tracker
As I mentioned before, I don’t care how far I run. The reason I use a time and pace tracker is because I try to keep a 10-minute pace throughout my run intervals. Play around and see what works for you – you might find that you like an 11- or 12-minute pace better and that’s totally okay. I also use my time and pace tracker for my run/walk intervals. On a typical run, I’ll warmup for three or four minutes, then get started with an interval of run/jog for four minutes, walk for one minute, and so forth and so on. If you’re just getting started with running, decrease your run/jog intervals and increase your walk intervals. You can adjust as you gain stamina. My favorite time and pace tracker is the Nike Run Club app.
No. 6 | Breath
As a yoga teacher who understands the importance of deep breathing, please believe me when I say that proper breathing is crucial for running as well. There are quite a few different breathing patterns out there that running coaches recommend (you can Google them), but the one I like to use is in for three, out for three. So, in, two, three…out, two, three. Breathing correctly will help control your heart rate and will also provide more oxygen to your muscles which are working hard as you run.
What about you, do you have any particular tools that help you enjoy running? Please share them below!
Disclaimer: I strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. I am not a licensed medical care provider and I have no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice.