Learn to Run
Take your training one step at a time and stay healthy while you learn how to run farther and faster.
There is so much to talk about when you're first learning to run. From what to wear (and where to get it) to building endurance and avoiding injury to actually getting yourself off the couch, there's a lot to cover. Emily Smith of Tourism Whistler addresses some common questions and helps give you the motivation you need to lace up those sneakers and take the first step towards experiencing the empowering movement of running.
Get ready to hit the road
First thing’s first: get off the couch. The first step is winning the battle in your mind. Everyone has a motivating factor for fitness. Set your eyes there, knowing that when you finish, the couch will be in the very same place - but you won't be.
Get the gear. There's many gadgets and gear marketed to runners, but all you really need to start are good running shoes and a supportive sports bra. It's SO important to be comfortable when you run. Try an athletic store like Lululemon for gear and Nike for runners. Invest in quality pieces, and never be afraid to ask questions.
Choose your jam. There are many, many studies that show how our performance levels and mood shifts when we listen to upbeat music. Spotify has amazing playlists right at the tip of your fingers, catered specifically for athletic endeavours. You only need to spend a few minutes to find something great to move your legs to.
Make a plan and build your skills
Set a goal. Whether it's working your way up to 5km, 10km or a full marathon, set a goal for something you're working towards and place it top of mind. It can be a mini-goal for each run, or setting your eyes with long-term focus - both will serve you greatly as a developing runner.
Practice endurance. Endurance, for the most part doesn't happen overnight, and ratios really help. It's often thought of in the running community as a best practice for all long distance runners to operate on the 10:1 ratio (run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute). This can be applied to other levels of running, too. (ie: intermediate, 5:1 and beginner, 2:1.)
Run uphill both ways. If anything will help you become a well-rounded runner - this is it. Hills will help improve every aspect of your running. Start small and work your way up. You're building muscle memory on every run, and the second time will be easier than the first.
Keep it regular. 10,000 hours, right? Practice makes perfect. You will only improve if you stick to it. If you like routine, set a regular run time and day and don't waiver from it. Or, spice it up and be spontaneous. Carry a backpack of run gear in your car and let the moment lead you, but don't let yourself fall off the wagon - always find a place to run it out.
Location. It definitely depends on what you have access to, but running along trails and softer surfaces will prove to be better for your joints over time - and trail scenery is unbeatable. Find a spot that inspires you and lap it.
Technology. There are endless apps and ways to track your run progress. Runkeeper, the app, is a great place to start. It lets you track progress and save individuals runs, upload photos and post to your social networks.
Listen to you body
This is quite possibly the most important rule for runners. Remember to do quick stretches after your run, hydrate, eat well and as you work your way up to longer distances, roll out your legs with a foam roller or a tennis ball. Essential oils and ointments can also aid in great muscle recovery - try Pain Release and Peppermint Halo, which can be used in combination to massage into your aching areas.
Yoga is your friend. The principles of movement taught in yoga will help strengthen your muscles, tones your body and make you a well-rounded athlete. Ask around to fellow runners about types of classes offered in your area, and when in doubt, try it out.
Follow motivational athletes and accounts on social media for your daily dose of inspiration. Women's Health, Fitness Magazine, lululemon athletica and PopSugar Fitness are great places to start. Watch, learn and listen, and let that inspire you. Then, make the first move; lace up those runners and set off onto the trails. You can absolutely do anything you truly set your mind to.