This week I am starting my training plan for my half-marathon. I have a certain time goal in mind and I have 7 months to train and work my way up to 21k. I’m running a 10k race at the end of next month, so I’ve got to get going and work on my 10k time as well.
One thing that has always been hard for me when it comes to actually making myself go for a run is a) motivation and b) the feeling that I’m not improving my form or time remotely. This has earnestly discouraged me in the past. So I have decided to compile a list of ways to improve my running.
- Focus on breath. A huge part of why I want to stop myself while running is because my breath starts to become shallow. If you focus on breathing through your nose slowly as opposed to quick and shallow, it will actually help circulate oxygen to your extremities, slow down your heart rate, and keep you cool as a cucumber. Breath is the link between your mind/body connection – they rely on one another and when one waivers, there is an adverse reaction for the other.
- Get a good playlist! (Though I’ve already blogged about this)
- Do more yoga! Yoga will help you to master the technique required to breathe through your nose. Not only that, but it will stretch out your Achilles and improve your flexibility.
- Get good running gear. Now I am not suggesting that you drop hundreds of dollars at Lululemon. But seriously, there is nothing worse than running in shorts or leggings that are too big for you and keep falling down. Talk about attractive! Also, for all the ladies out there: never underestimate the importance of a good sports bra. Your girls will thank you in the long run. My last tip: go to a quality running/sports store and get fitted for your shoes. It will help your shins in the end and no shin splints = a happy runner.
- Come up with a good pre-run snack! A good idea of how much to eat and what you should eat can be seen at this link from FitSugar: http://www.fitsugar.com/What-Eat-Before-Run-24108225. I hate it when my stomach starts cramping during a run and that usually happens because I’ve eaten the wrong thing. This is something that I am unabashedly guilty of.
- Work on those Abs! Since I started working on my abs in barre class, I have noticed a serious difference in my running stance. It is so much easier for me to keep my body erect as opposed to slumping over when I get tired. Plus, holding in your abs while you run is a great work out in and of itself! I recommend some planks to really target the lower region of your abdominals that is so difficult to build muscle in.
- Run Alone. I find it so much easier to run alone than with someone else. That way, I’m not competing with anyone. If I want to incorporate sprints and hills, I can do it on my own time and when I’m feeling ready. Also, isn’t it nice to just get some time by yourself as you most likely have to deal with other people all day long. Take some quality me time!
- Have fun! Even though I’m training right now, that doesn’t mean that my goal shouldn’t be to enjoy myself. If I don’t enjoy running, then I should not be doing it. I love how it makes me feel and that’s why I keep pushing myself to get out there.
I will leave you all with a quote about breath from a yogic stance as it really is so important. Breath is life, “”When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.” – Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Happy running! Peace. xx.