However, looking back and reflecting on my first experience running a long distance (long for me, it’s not long for an ultra-marathoner!) has taught me a lot about myself and I’d like to share my findings with you!
If you have time to run, you have time to stretch
As a rule that I now follow for running, I take the amount of time I went running, and spend 10% of that on stretching. I can vividly remember coming home from a long run and just wanting to crash on the bed. I think that I would have had a lot less pain and I would have prevented the pain I now have if I would have just taken some time to stretch. I don’t just mean your legs. Running outside is a full body workout so make sure you stretch out EVERYTHING, legs, arms, butt, back, hips, abs, shoulders and neck. If it can be stretched - just stretch it!
The foam roller may feel like the devil, but he is actually your friend
I absolutely dread the foam roller. I have one in my apartment and I try to tuck it away and pretend like I can’t find it. I’m just kidding. I do use it when I feel like my IT bands are extremely tight which is usually after a longer run (or doing resistance training on my lower body). The foam roller is a magical tool for runners because runners do get so tight. The foam roller is somewhat like a rolling pin for your muscles. You will feel like you have large lumps in your muscles - those are knots and they are the most painful part of foam rolling however the foam roller gets rid of them so that your muscles are much longer and leaner!
Don’t think that running is a good enough workout for your legs
I made this mistake early on in my training. It’s a bad mindset to be in. You use your legs for hours and hours when running, why would you need to do weight training as well? Or why would I do weight training, make my legs so sore and heavy and then try and run? Trust me... I’ve been there too... I understand your concerns. However, the stronger your legs are, the more they’re able to propel you forward in the running movement, which results in you getting farther with each step which results in a faster time for your race. I would definitely recommend a lot of walking lunges, a lot of calf presses and a lot of compound movements.
No new is good on race day
When race day comes around, NEVER, and I repeat, EVER try anything brand new. Wear shoes you’ve worn plenty of times, clothes you’ve ran in a million times and socks you know aren’t going to give you blisters. Don’t try new products like gels or gummies on race day as you don’t know how they’ll react with your body. I made this mistake once on my longest training run. I took a gel and it upset my stomach so much that I had to back track to go use a washroom in a random hotel which turned the whole run into a complete disaster. Never again will I try anything for the first time on a long run.
A half-marathon is a big deal... splurg and get fitted for proper running shoes
These are my top 5 recommendations for people who are starting out on their running journey and they are all tried, tested and true. I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me an email or visit your local running store and they’ll be able to help you out as well! Running my first half-marathon was an amazing and emotional experience and I would recommend it to anyone who’s getting into running! Taadaaaa... I'm glad I've wrote articles before because in times of need (or utter busy-ness due to utter lazy-ness) I can just post one for all of you and hope that it passes as an ok blog post! I feel bad not writing more, but I promise to post a real "life" post. :)... For those who missed my last post, I'm having a pretty amazing giveaway. Sun Warrior and Raw Elements are letting me give away a large bag of Sun Warrior protein!! It's my most favourite protein ever! It tastes great, it doesn't upset my stomach and I can feel good about it because it's organic, vegan and gluten-free! I never trust the proteins that can sit on shelves for years and years in plastic containers... doesn't it seem strange that we pump ourselves full of chemicals after a workout?? I'll save that conversation for another day, but in the meantime - ENTER MY GIVEAWAY HERE !! :) Thanks for letting me fake a blog post for tonight :).