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Starting the New Year off on the Right Foot

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Submitted by Ann Dennis

It has been my experience that CFWR gets the most new members in the months of January and February.   Whether you are new or a established runner- here are some things I feel every runner should know:

1.)  Everyone was new at some time.  We have all been there.  That feeling of intimidation can be extremely powerful.  What I have found that helps is to tell yourself that if you don't try something new, you may never know what you are missing out on.  What is worse, regret, or at least trying it?  Even if you say you didn't like it, at least you tried.  And there are going to be other people in the same boat, and that makes it easier.

2.)  Gear.  Cotton sucks.  Get shirts, shorts, socks, that have some kind of wicking.  The term 'wicking' means that it pulls moisture away from the body so that you don't fee weighted down with all the sweat stored in your cotton clothes.  Cotton is out, wicking material is in.  

Body Glide rocks- body glide looks like a stick of deodorant and it prevents chafing in those areas which you wish just didn't rub together.  

Good shoes can make all the difference- get fitted.  YOU DON"T HAVE TO BUY WHAT THEY ARE SELLING, but pay attention to what they are saying so that you can make an informed decision and do research on what they recommend (you might be able to find a deal online with the manufacturer).  You can get fitted at most stores that are dedicated to running.  And don't forget to ask what their guarantee policy is if you decide to purchase what they fit you with.  When you find them on sale BUY IN BULK- it has been my experience that clothing and shoe manufacturers change models so often (kind of like a cell phone) that a year after you buy your gear they won't have your model anymore.  

Sports Bra- a good sports bra is hard to find, and it doesn't matter what cup size you are.  Try them on, look silly jumping up and down in the dressing room, stretch with them, and then decide to buy or not.  When you find one you love, BUY IN BULK.  See the blurb on good shoes.

Water bottle, GPS watches, headphones- I would ask around and ask to see fellow runners gear- this is really personal preference. 

2.b)  Your shoes need rest too.  HAve 2 pair and alternate their use.  Your shoes need rest too.  Also when you wear them in the rain or they get wet, it gives them time to dry.

3.)  Cut your toenails- Yes, I know that this sounds weird, but if you don't heed this advice you may find yourself with black toenails.  This comes from our toes hitting the front of our shoes.  Be careful, though.  How you cut your toe nails can result in ingrown toenails.  I suggest that you splurge and get a pedicure and see how they cut them, and see if they will show you how to cut them so that you can do it yourself at home.  

4.)  Hydrate- and not just on run days.  Hydrate during the week and well after a run.  Good hydration helps with muscle inflamation, headaches, brain funtion,  and fatigue.

5.)  Running outside?  Run against traffic.  If running in the dark wear light clothes (no black) and reflective gear and lights.

6.)  The runners trots-  yep- been there- you are running, feeling great, and then all of a sudden....  This is normal.  Running helps to regulate the bowels.  Caffeine is a natural laxative, so if you have coffee in the mornings you increase the likelyhood of having to go #2 in the middle of a run.  Also, some gu's can agravate your bowels, so before a race make sure you incorporate trying anything new into your training as a trial.

7.)  Trying new things-  NEVER wear new shoes to a race, NEVER try new food items (gu, hydration products, eating something you have never eaten before) before/during a race.  You increase your rise of blisters and the trots.

8.)  Speaking of eating- running does not mean that you can eat whatever you want.  Yes, I said it. Me, who loves food, calls herself a foodie, and often says, "I run to eat, not eat to run."  But this is a falsehood.  It is one that I am no longer going to use.  We love food, but what we put in our bodies greatly affects how our bodies perfom on a daily basis, not just on a run.  So when you go to put that last bite of lobster mac and cheese in your mouth, consider how you are going to feel the next day (especially if you have to run-  a run and heavy cream for me, do not mix)/

8.)  Most races are LONGER than you might think- a little known fact- race courses are longer if you stay on the outside of the curves, and they are shorter if you make sure to stay on the inside of the curves.  Think of the school track- if you run only the inside lane- you will have to go further to cover a mile because the inside lane is shorter on the turns.    I recall a marathon I ran that turned out to be 26. 9 miles instead of 26.2.   The next one I ran I made sure to stay on the inside of the turns it was much more acurate.  Stay on the inside when you can.

9.)  There is no shame in walking.  Guess what- in one mile you burn the same number of calories!  (that would be approx. 100 cal.)  It is ok to stop and take a break, if you aren't feeling the run, it is OK.  Let me say that again- IT IS OK!  Remember number 1- we have all been beginners at some point.

10.)  Celebrate your accomplishments.  Often I hear- I only ran a mile.  Guess what- you ran a mile!  Some people are still on their couch!  Way to go!  Celebrate it!









Categories: New Year Messages

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