The number of women running has increased over the years and it’s hard not to ignore the amount of people running all over town and even updating their social media status with running stats! And with all the benefits that include an increase in cardiovascular health, toning and lowering stress, why not start running? The Tri Cities and Yakima area gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year, so running is a great and inexpensive way to get outside and get in shape!
But wait! You cannot just get up off the couch and start running a 5k, or can you? Yes and no. With some training, goal setting and even some Apps that will help you ease into the physical endurance it takes to run a race, you can run a marathon. Here are some easy tips and tricks to help you get you across the finish line, and looking awesome by Boat Race Weekend! (because isn’t that everyone’s main goal?)
1) Set a goal. This area is full of great marathons that benefit local charities. You can not only help out an organization by running in a race, but also give yourself something to look forward to. Pick one that’s a few weeks out, as it might take you up to 3 or 4 months to get into marathon shape. Then register, mark it on your calendar and even ask a friend to join you. It's hard to give up on a goal when someone else is expecting you'll succeed.
2) Get some gear. First, get the “ok” from your doctor to start running if needed. Then find yourself some good shoes, a supportive bra, and a rockin' playlist of music (Remember, no one has to see your playlist. If Vanilla Ice and Boys II Men get you motivated, then download without shame!) Depending on where you are running and your personal lifestyle, you may also need to invest in some clothes that will reflect light if running at night, clothing to wick away sweat or maybe even a jogging stroller if junior is along for the ride. Sunscreen and water are also a must, so be prepared if you are running outside. And a toned body rocks, but sunspots are not sexy (either is skin cancer).
3) Start running! Personally, I immediately put together some of my favorite songs on a playlist for my iPhone and then downloaded the “Get Running” App. This App lets you run to your own music while a kind voice with a British accent tells you when to warm up, walk, run and when to cool down. She even tells you how many more seconds you have of running/walking left so you aren’t staring at your phone counting down the seconds yourself (don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this!) In 9 weeks, this App will have you running a 5k. You can even update your status with your running stats.
4) Take care of yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard, but don’t take too many days off. Eat right, drink plenty of water and be safe when running on the road, by yourself and even at the gym. Find what motivates you! It might be writing down your feelings after you run, giving yourself a gold star or even allowing yourself that piece of chocolate or glass of wine at night. Find what works for you and start running for a better heart, a better body and a better you!
Need some ideas for a playlist? Check out these websites for some great suggestions.