7 Tips to Make Running Easier
If you’re a new runner or relatively new than you know the pains of this question: “When does running stop hurting?” or “When does running become easier?”
I would like to simply give you the “short” answer:
Never. Running never gets easier. But, you do get stronger.
When does running get easier?! 7 Tips to help make your running journey therapeutic and satisfying! #runchat #tipsClick To Tweet
Now onward to the longish answer which will explain my short answer with more clarity.
I’ve now trained for and ran seven marathons and none of them got any “easier”. Not the race nor the training. I did however become more efficient, remained injury free (not without little niggles here and there) which made the running more pleasant. The faster I became the harder I had to work towards my goals. My easier recovery paced runs, yes, finally felt easier. But, even on a tough day my 9:30 minute per mile pace can still feel like it takes 9999995% effort (which is exactly how I feel now that I’m currently pregnant ha!). There’s a reason for this: your body needs time to recover. Which brings me to my #1 tip to help you find that sweet, little efficient spot in your new (or old) running adventures.
Tip #1 Easy
Keep most of your runs, 60-80 (even up to 100%)% (depending on your current base level…total newbies stick closer to the 80-100%) truly easy. How?
- Make sure you can carry on a full conversation while jogging. If you find that you can not, slow down or take a walk break.
- If you need music run with slower jams.
- TURN OFF YOUR GPS. *gasp* I know. I’m a slave to the watch as well. However, there’s good therapy in turning that sucker off. Feel free to run a route you know the length by heart so you can track your miles but for Heaven’s sake, don’t allow that piece of technology to dictate the way your body is feeling.
- If you are huffing and puffing you are not running easy. ’nuff said.
Tip #2 Friends
Distract yourself. Run with friends. This keeps your mind occupied and that way you can really test out the “talk test”. If you can carry on a full conversation without wheezing or huffing then you’re doing it right.
Tip #3 Consistency
Be consistent. I can not stress this enough. Some weeks you run three miles other weeks you run twenty-five miles. No. Just don’t. This is a recipe for injury and puts your body back at square one over and over again. No wonder it feels so hard all the time, right? MAKE YOUR RUNS a priority. How?
- Find a time of day that you know you can almost always be available for a run even if it’s only 20 minutes.
- Set an alarm, write it down in your agenda, make a running date with a pal. Keep that promise!
- Post on social media if that’s your jam. I know tons of ladies who post for accountability. Shoot, that’s how I started myself! This blog started off as a training journal. All these tips I’m giving you are ones that I have personally implemented myself so I know they work. I was a beginner once too! PS-even elites or closer pro runners feel like newbies from time to time all over again. We all struggle!
- Hire a coach or invest in a training plan. Why hire a coach (like me! Shameless self-promoting plug.)? Accountability, direct access to someone who’s been there ran that and who probably has great credentials and knowledge to get you through rough patches. Or simply find a free training plan off Runner’s World or something like that and follow the basics. You don’t have to train for a 5k to follow a 5k training plan. You might however want to be training for an actual marathon race if you’re following a marathon training plan however. Those are tough. But a 5k plan can simply whip you into great shape. Having a training calendar helps!
Tip #4 Push Through
Don’t be afraid to push through discomfort but do not push through sharp pain. This is how you grow. Your muscles break down and you rest to allow then to rebuild even stronger. This includes the heart muscle. There’s inevitably going to be muscle fatigue and soreness anytime you start a new program. Your body takes time to adapt to new fitness routines. This is another very good reason to run easy most days.
Tip #5 Cross-train
Add some form of light cross-training like swimming or cycling and be diligent to foam roll overactive muscles, stretch and maybe even take up yoga. Your body is taking a beating during runs so it’s best to care for those joints by doing low-impact activities that promote healthy blood flow throughout your body. This will aid in the recovery time twice as fast (okay, I don’t know the specific studies on “twice as fast” but from my personal experience this is what I noted.) as doing nothing would. Sitting on your butt immediately post run will NOT benefit you in any way.
Tip #6 Strength Train
Tip #7 Just breathe!
Focus on breathing and learning to relax. It might be very well worth it to invest in Runner’s World Running on Air. When I first began running I felt like I had a secret second Darth Vader identity hiding in my lungs. It made running feel so hard. Once I finally grasped the concept of belly breathing running became almost instantly easier. Out of all the other tips, if you can nail this one down I believe it will provide you with the most relief.
As your body adapts to its new training regimen will begin to feel more enjoyable and you may even begin to find running therapeutic. Most folks give up before finding out that they do indeed have a “second wind”. Push through to the other side and you just might find your very own runner’s high. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is this:
Stick with it.
Are you a new, intermediate or seasoned runner? When did running “become easy” to you? Or are you still struggling to stick with it?
6 Jun 2017 / runpinkjess / 6
“Good thing I didn’t accomplish all my goals yet because then what would I do tomorrow?” -Alexi Pappas, Olympian, and long-distance runner
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