- Don’t skip the warm up: I neverused to warm up before runs. I thought it was completely counter-intuitive and annoying. In my mind, going for a run was supposed to include two steps. One: lace up shoes. Two: go. Anything that got in the way of steps one and two was a frustrating delay. But tearing my meniscus smacked some sense into me, and now I realize just how important it is to get my body ready for the work I’m asking it to do.
For example, I have a runner’s malady I like to call “lazy butt syndrome.” It basically means my glutes don’t fire as they should when I run, requiring my other muscles to pick up the slack. Rude. I’ve found that a simple 5 minute warm up of dynamic movements, squats, and PT exercises sets me up for a better run every time. Tell me, are there any must-do warm up moves I’m missing?
- Walk breaks are not a sign of weakness: The truth is, the Type A competitive control freak in me loathes walk breaks. Every time I contemplate taking one during a run, my thoughts engage in an epic struggle of good versus evil. It really is like having a little angel on one shoulder and a tiny tazmanian devil on the other. One tells me a walk break will help refresh my legs and the other tells me to power through. If you stop, that guy you just passed will inch ahead and leave you in his dust! Everyone will know you’re struggling!
Go away taz. After three weeks of training, I’ve finally kicked the devil off my shoulder and embraced walk breaks + stretch stops whenever my body needs them. I’m not a professional runner or a coach, but I’m pretty darn sure that at this stage of the game these pit stops aren’t hurting anything. Training for a half marathon is tough – I’m committed to listening to my body and taking the rest when I need it.
- Weights + crosstraining are part of the deal: I’ve been spending a lot of time at the gym working on strengthening my core, legs, and glutes. On the days I’m not lifting or running, I’m usually at a yoga class stretching out the knots I’ve created during the rest of the week. Three weeks into this training plan, I truly think the strength training and stretching is paying off. I feel physically stronger, my knee has (so far) not given me too much trouble (knock on wood), and I’m enjoying the diversity in my workout schedule. Weight days are physically tough, runs deliver a cardio high, and yoga reminds me to slow down + breathe every once and awhile.