so you want to start running?

first of all, i am not a running expert to be giving advice, but maybe sharing what i have learned will help, the most basic things a runner wannabee needs to know, based on my 5 year love affair with running.

yesterday, i ran 8 kms. with a friend whom i want to consider my couch to 5k candidate.. i was surprised to get a call from him and invited me for a road run.. it was going to be his very first road run, and since i know that he has been working out at the gym regularly and running the treadmill, perhaps he can do the distance, which he did, albeit almost walked on the way back..(he is a bit on the heavy side)

we agreed to meet at the park nearby early afternoon and set off right away to my regular 10km route. but, i noticed he was not properly attired for running.. this is not to criticize my friend, but i am using it as an example to share some whys and whats if you want to start running seriously.. although i know my friend may not be inclined to be one..

1. first, never wear cotton shirt. i know you would think cotton will be comfortable.. yes, especially when sleeping, for me i.e. but never when you are sweating. you see, cotton absorbs wetness we all know that, and doesn’t this irritate you? with new discoveries in fabrics that repel perspiration from the skin, it made running a “no-sweat” kind of thing… check out any sports goods store, you’ll be able to find good ones..

2. headphones are okay, but not when you need to keep adjusting them. yesterday i noticed his headphones slipping down his sweaty head quite a few times.. so, use something like the earbuds or sports earphones that you can hook around your ears.. and make sure you don’t use the kinds that shut off the noise around you especially the traffic, or other pedestrians because it is not safe not to hear what’s going on especially on the road. 

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3. hydration is best!! i think it is bodily instinct that if we all feel exhausted, especially under the heat, we ask for water… what more if we are running. it is not “uncool” to carry water when running, for me, i.e. even if i will just do 5km run, i use a small hydration bottle that fits in my running belt bag which my dear friend and running coach gave me. then for longer runs, i have a 2 bottle hydration belt.. since i rarely run long distances, what i have for now is good for me. my dude friend brought his camelbak water backpack.. hmmmm, how much water to carry depends on how far you will be running or how long your work out will be. to avoid inconveniences, like bringing too much or too little, plan ahead and hydrate yourself properly…

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4. my friend was wearing a very loose surf shorts or something like it.. this is a no no for running most especially long distance runs, like more than an hour of running or maybe 10kms. or more. wearing loose garments causes chafing and this is really nasty. in fact, even wearing my sports undergarment which i think is snug enough still caused me blisters and eventually left marks on my skin. i have many other chafing experiences but now, thanks to anti-blister sticks you can get from running stores. wear a more tight fitting but comfortable shorts, or capri pants for ladies, and you’ll go a long way.

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5. lastly, and not the least important, invest in a really good pair of running shoes. my dude friend was wearing basketball shoes to run.. i always say this to my friends who think they want to begin running.. well, i’ve experienced the same surprise finding out that not any shoes with rubber soles are good for running.. yes, you would wonder why is it that going to the sports goods store you will see an array of rubber shoes with different styles, shapes, types, etc.. each one of those is made especially for a particular sport and just so you know, there are high arched feet, flat feet, pronated, over pronated, etc etc.. . better yet, i suggest for you to go to a running goods store. sometimes sales people from department stores cannot give good advice about what shoes for what type of feet. you don’t really need to be so particular for now until you get serious about it, for as long as you know there is good cushioning, good support, and it’s for running, then that’s the one for you! remember what happens to your feet affects the whole body, believe it or not.

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so there, i have too much to say for too few tips… but we all learn by trial and error, hopefully not a serious error… but what i have shared are just the basics.. i still have lots to learn.. for now,, just go do it, running is a fun sport and learn more about it as you go. run happy!

M.

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