A Simple Running Log

Things I’ve learned about running

Stretching is not necessary before a run, but it is crucial afterwards.

Rain can’t hurt you.

Signing up (and paying) for a race is a great motivator, whether it’s a 5K or an ultra marathon.

When it comes to shoes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Meaning, if you find a brand your feet really like, don’t switch it up. You might end up with an injury and a useless, non-returnable pair of $90 shoes.

Screw shoes are a bad horrendous idea. The treadmill is not as bad as you think it is when there’s snow and ice on the roads.

Shoes are the single piece of equipment you can not cheap out on. And while you’re at it, get some good socks, too. Cotton is the enemy.

Take special care of feet. They will look like crap no matter what you do, but you have to make them feel good. When your feet are out of whack, your legs, knees, hips and/or back will follow.

Foam roller = awesome.

You can’t fix severe injuries. Neither can anyone on the internet. Get to a doctor, the sooner the better.

It is not important for all of your running gear to be the same brand. These people aren’t sponsoring you, so who cares if your shorts and shirt were made by different companies?

Eating enough of the right things is important. You can feel the difference in your energy levels and your gut if you live off of junk food instead of real food.

Drink plenty of water.

Chocolate milk is a great post-run recovery drink. No, seriously, they’ve done studies.

All the running gadgets — the iPods, the Garmins, the heart rate monitors — are nice, but they’re not at all necessary.

Wicking materials are a great advancement in running gear. But you don’t have to buy the Under Armour and Nike stuff. Target and Walmart have good lines of cheaper running gear, and you can often score a good deal on the name brand stuff at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, and online.

Cold weather running gear is great for non-running outdoor activities. It’s thin and lightweight but warm, and good at repelling rain.

Don’t be afraid of the compression fit running clothes. The self conciousness only lasts for the first few minutes, until you realize how fantastic they feel.

Keeping a running log, either by hand or online, is another great motivator. There’s nothing worse than seeing a big goose egg on a day you were supposed to work out.

It’s nice to talk to other runners about running, whether you find them in real life or online. Because non-runners could not care less if you ran your fastest splits in a 10-mile training run today, but a fellow runner will be excited for you.

If you’re not nervous before a race, you’re not doing it right.

Set three goals for a race: Your ‘A’ goal, which is your best case scenario; your ‘B’ goal, which is a good day but not a great one; and your ‘C’ goal, which is your doomsday scenario. That way, you will most certainly meet one of your goals, and thus will have a successful race.

Bad runs (and races) make you appreciate the good ones.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Even in a race with 20,000 other competitors, you are really only racing yourself. Unless you’re an elite. In which case, you shouldn’t need my advice anyway.

Long runs are meant to be run sloooowly.

The only way to get better at running is to run.

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