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Here we are. The last post in my "how to start running" series. I took a month off, and now I'm back with the final hurrah. This series has been so fun for me, and I hope it has been helpful and fun for you guys too. I went back through the posts and commented back directly on my blog to questions that were asked, so if you asked me something during those first few posts, check back!
For this last post, I just wanted round out the series by answering a few frequently asked questions. These are some I see and hear a lot that I want to touch on briefly. Of course, if there's anything you still want to know, feel free to email me! Or leave a comment, and I'll answer it! (And I'm not done with running posts by any means, so don't worry. I have a "what to wear to run in 20-degree weather" post planned next in my queue.)
1. My shorts ride up while I'm running! Is this normal? What can I do to fix this?
I am thankful to say I've never personally had this problem, but for those of you who do, know that you aren't alone! There are actually a lot of people this happens to. If you've tried different pairs of shorts and they still aren't working, try wearing some capris. Or spandex with shorts on top if you don't want to show off your cheeks for all to see. You could also try a running skirt. I haven't worn one, but I know a lot of people who love them. If you have found a good solution to this problem, leave a comment and share your knowledge!
2. I've tried running, but I always get so bored! How do you make it not so boring?
Honestly, listening to podcasts is the main thing that helps me keep it interesting.
You can check out my top 5 favorite podcasts for running if you missed that in part 6. Here are a few other things to try, which you've probably heard before but they're all true:
-Run a new route
-Run speedwork on the track
-Run with a friend
The main thing, though, is to try to just enjoy the run. Mentally, you have to be positive. Don't think of it as a chore. Think of it as a time for you to be alone, get some perspective, let your mind wander to whatever it wants to wander to. Where else do can you get that kind of solitude? In a day when people can't go two minutes without checking Twitter (I'm looking at myself here), I think it's good to have a hobby that involves some quality alone time. Being alone doesn't have to be boring, but that's a post for another day.
*I will add that sometimes running is boring. Those are the runs that make you want to throw out your running shoes forever. But the next one is always better, so don't give up!
3. It's so hard to get started running. How do I keep motivation?
First of all, I suggest you read this post from one of my favorite running bloggers on how running is never really easy. She says that if it were actually that easy, everyone would be doing it. But they aren't.
So yeah. You need to realize that it's not going to be easy. Sometimes it's going to royally suck. The main thing that helps is to take baby steps. I talked about this in part 1. The main reason people fizzle out (in my opinion) is because they don't realize how long it actually takes to build up stamina and endurance so you can run a mile or two without feeling like death. Because you will feel like death for a while, and you have to be patient.
Like I mentioned in part 3, setting a schedule, another way to keep motivation up is to actually sign up for a race. My friend Justine started running for I think 20 seconds at a time. Maybe it was even shorter than that. She kept going, adding running time, working toward her 2-mile goal race. She ran it.
Then she ran the Color Run with me a month or two after that! We ran the entire time! I'm super proud of her. Having that original 2-mile goal race was the motivation for her to keep going, and likewise having a goal race in mind will keep you going on those days you really don't want to get out there.
If you have any good tips about how to keep motivation going, leave a comment! We've all been there.
4. Most marathon and half marathon training plans I see recommend running 4-5 times a week. Why do you only run 3 days a week?
Some of you think I'm a complete nut job for training for a marathon running only three days a week with no cross-training. I would agree with you, but I've been following a 3-day a week schedule for about 2 years now, and I love it. I don't feel like I am burned out by running, and I also don't feel like running takes over my entire life. Even when I'm training for a marathon, I don't feel like it takes a ton of time.
I have no other proof that my plan isn't too crazy than by telling you I trained 3 days/week and beat my goal marathon time by a full 15 minutes, so I don't at all feel like I am doing myself a disservice by "only" running 3 days a week. I also haven't been injured. KNOCK ON WOOD. I had a few blisters, but other than that I haven't had any problems.
The only thing I will say is that I don't do any real speedwork or tempo runs, and if you really want to get faster--like, really get faster--you probably need to be running more than three times a week. That's just not where my goals are right now, and for me, keeping it fun and something I want to do instead of something I have to do is most important, so I'm sticking to my 3 days a week schedule for now.
5. I hear a lot of people talk about compression socks. What are those? Do you use them?
I talked about my compression sleeves in my post on 6 tips for faster postrun recovery. Long story short, I do not like wearing compression socks to run in. A lot of people use them. I've tried it, and I don't like it. It's personal preference. I DO, however, love wearing my compression sleeves after a run for recovery. I absolutely notice a difference. You should get some.
6. What headband are you wearing in your race photos?
It's a Bondiband. I talked about it more in this post. You really need one of these if you don't have one already. And by one, I mean five. You need five.
7. My half marathon training plan says to only run a longest run of 10 miles. But that's another 5k left to add on! Will I really be ready?
Most half marathon plans have you top out at 10 miles. Marathon training plans have you running 20 miles. That's an entire 5k or 10k to tack onto the end of the longest run you've ever done, and at first that sounds scary. But if you can run those distances, you will be completely fine for your full race. At that point it's not about the distance but about the training you've put in during the weeks and months before the race.
Trust the schedule, trust the training, and you will cross that finish line!
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Sooo.... that's it!
If you have any more questions, feel free to email me.
Please share this series with anyone you know who's wanting to start running.
Let's encourage each other!
I hope you enjoyed this series and maybe met some new running friends through the featured running bloggers.
Until next time, happy running!
*I am not a personal trainer or physician. This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Contact your doctor before beginning a fitness routine or if you experience pain while exercising.