Sunday, May 2, 2010

For the Runner in You...

When I hear people talk about running like it I the most restful and zen thing in the world, I get confused. I start asking myself all sorts of questions about whether I'm doing it wrong or paying too much attention. You need to concentrate, you’re breathless, and you have to keep moving. How is that zen? Running is hard, especially if you’re trying to get the most out of it. But you deal with it because it makes you feel good after.

I was fishing around for running tips, and I came across a few that I thought were pretty interesting so I thought I’d share. By now, you probably know that I love lists :)

Run on the treadmill sometimes: Running outside or “pavement pounding” as I like to call it, is great because you actually feel more worked out, but the cement is so hard it can actually hurt your ankles if you do it constantly. I suggest taking a break for a couple of days a week, and running on the treadmill or in the middle of the street (if you dare). The tar is better than the cement.
Get running shoes: This is coming from someone who has had to deal with some ankle bruises from exercise. When you run in bad trainers or sneakers, you risk hurting yourself, and you may not be getting the most out of your workout. Comfy running shoes have soles that are made for the surfaces you run on, so they actually help you perform better. They also last longer. Invest in some great shoes, and you’ll notice the difference.
Don't forget to breathe: Watch your breathing when you run because how you breathe can affect your performance and your concentration. Also, don’t hold your breath. It’s funny how many of us actually forget to breathe when we run. You would think that we have lived long enough to figure out that air is good for you by now. But sometimes, we are concentrating so hard on left-right-left-right that we forget the in-out part.
Hydrate: Drink water before and after you run to stay hydrated. It is also recommended to drink water while you run, but not everyone likes to drink water while they workout. For some individuals, drinking water during the workout actually slows down their motion because they feel fuller. So try before, after, and during, and see which works best for you. But whatever way you chose, make sure you stay hydrated.
Posture: Try to stand straight while you run or hinge forward slightly if you’re going up a hill. But posture is important during running because if you always bend too far forward, you could hurt your lower back or damage your normal posture. This is especially true for those who like to hold the rails when running on a treadmill.
Lift your feet off the floor: Raise your feet so your knee is somewhere around a 90 degree angle. This way, you’re working on your bum, your legs, and your thighs.Way to multitask!
Eat: Please don't starve yourself. Starving yourself and exercising don't go hand in hand. You need energy to run like you mean it. Where do we get energy? Duh! Food!

If you have any more questions about running, please leave a comment here or on the Facebook link on the right.



  1. wuddup suzzz!! some running tricks help me run better and longer ... like google mapping routes to check distances and avoid traffic lights, and changing routes occassionally to keep it interesting. also nice to have interesting riddles or work stuff to think of to keep your mind off how much your legs hurt.

  2. Heya Suz,
    I am still on the fence about using music while running. There are tons of sites and mixes in Itunes which give tunes of certain BPM. Synching my breathing and pace with the songs seems to help me reel in those miles. Yet there are late night runs where having no music helps with the focus and the feel of the run. This site has an interesting take on zen running

    The other interesting advise that I've got is to sprint barefoot towards the end of the run before cooling down to help with my strike biomechanics. There are studies here ( ) and many other sites which seem to chime in with this approach

  3. Max, music definitely helps me run better. If I focus on the road, I get distracted. When I play faster music, I tend to run better too.

  4. How can i ever make sense running? I know i touched on this with you. I just feel like i need to be running after/from something...

  5. Lol @ Denny. You probably need less running and more weights for what you are trying to achieve.

  6. I'm like you, I run and sometimes, it just goes amazingly well; an hour and a half passes and I could easily go for longer but stop myself! Other times, I run for what feels like hours and then check the time and I've only don't 20 minutes!
    My biggest running tip is not to clock watch, I try not to check the time at all till the end. I also need music, sometimes slow, sometimes fast but just songs I love because I find when a song I love comes on, I focus on it, singing along in my mind and next thing I know it's over and another 5 minutes are gone!

  7. Exactly Vickii! Some days, I wonder if I'm just learning to run; it could be so hard that I keep watching the clock every 2 minutes. But some days, I feel like I could run a marathon. Music definitely helps me focus more, but it has to be songs I love.


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