Shana’s running tips

I get a kick out of every time I hear someone say “I hate running.” They say it as if I couldn’t understand-you know because I’m a RUNNER. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. My running story started in high school when I hung out in track/cross country like a FOOL. I was so awful at running.

Same story at BMT. I had six weeks of prep and I pretty much died on that last two mile test or whatever it was. I think I barely made the cutoff. Fast forward a few years and I’d go out walking on the golf course/listening to music at night. After weeks of that-maybe months?-I realized my legs were ready to run. Like they were not being challenged enough.

Thus began my running-on-purpose career (which has still had lots of ups and downs).

Some running anecdotes:

One time it took me 17:42 to run a mile and a half (almost 12 minute mile).

I ran over 9 miles this year, each at a 9:15 pace. Up hills and such.

I was so out of shape one run I remember being MAD at a DOWNHILL slope because it was making me move faster.

My legs eagerly speed up each time they sense an increase in grade (a hill). Yes, I run faster uphill now. And I like it.

Okay…so now that you maybe believe that I used to hate running too, maybe you’ll let me help you! Running CAN be enjoyable, therapeutic, meditative, spiritual even. But if you push yourself TOO hard you probably won’t experience it that way.

Here are my running tips, all very obvious as that’s how my advice tends to be (sorry!)

-The more often you run, the easier it is to run.  

-The fastest/cheapest way to lose weight is running. The fastest way to get better at running is to lose weight. Win/win.  

-Stop worrying about time. It really doesn’t matter. Instead, listen to your body. Warm up at a “leisurely” pace for a few minutes-up to half of your distance goal-and then push yourself a bit harder. Think of yourself as a horse in the gate, waiting to be let free. If you restrain yourself at the beginning of your run, you’ll have confidence, breathing control and energy to push hard at the end.  

-Start small. If you’re new to it-run 2 minutes or a half a mile three times one week. Then add to your time/distance the next week.  

-Just do it. Yeah, it takes some people and hour to get ready for a run. I try to have as little time between the decision to run and the actual run so that I don’t have time to talk myself or of it OR to psych myself out. Just do it. A 1 mile run is 9-12 minutes of you life. Period. So just go do it!

-Don’t make excuses. Your mind will come up with all kinds of them. Don’t listen. Run anyway. Every time. No matter what.  

-Don’t stop. Some people like that Galloway walk/run stuff. If that works for you and you’re making progress, keep doing that! For me personally, stopping is both physically and mentally defeating. I’d rather finish at a snail’s pace than walk. My legs seem to instantly lose their fluidity and become dead weights if I stop. And mentally I’ll beat myself up if I don’t hit my goal (make sure those goals are realistic).

-Last tip: no negative self talk. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it. Be your own best cheerleader! Believe in yourself. Set your mind to it and you CAN do it.

This article is pretty cool! Key points:

-Nature’s home-brewed opiates, endorphins are chemicals that act a lot like their medically engineered counterpart, morphine.

-Push yourself – hard, but not too hard. Endorphins are painkillers produced in response to physical discomfort. A short, casual run likely won’t produce enough discomfort to trigger a rush. Attempt a pace or distance that’s too aggressive, and you’ll possibly be too overwhelmed by the effort to feel good.

-Your body also pumps out endocannabinoids, which are a naturally synthesized version of THC, the chemical responsible for the buzz that marijuana produces.

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