from Zesty Things:
Running for Beginners – 11 Tips for New Runners
Running has been a part of my life for almost 10 years now. Though I fluctuate regularly in the duration and intensity of my runs, I’ve been consistent for a good part of my adult life. Running has become not only a method of physical exercise for me; it’s become my meditation, my mental health check, my escape from chronic anxiety, and my time to center myself. During my runs I frequently think and work out what my next move is for whatever goals I’ve set or problems I’m facing. I can’t even begin to rattle off the problems I’ve solved while being out on a run. The mental clarity that comes with getting out of your normal environment and flooding your brain with endorphins has become a necessary part of my life.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people come to me with questions about running. Many of them are people who want to start running but they don’t know what the strategies are, especially in the early stages when they’re out of shape. They don’t know what goals to set or what foods to eat. While I’m definitely not a personal trainer, many of these people now run regularly and I like to think that my advice in the very beginning helped them to get there. This article contains some of the different bits and pieces of information that I’ve gained through my own journey as a runner.
Get the Right Shoes
Running is a very healthy activity but it’s stressful on your knees, ankles, and spine. Start off right be making sure you have the right shoes. I’m not talking about going to the shoe store and picking out whatever cool running shoe you see that you think looks good, I’m talking about going to a real running store that specializes in running shoes and gear. The folks that work in these stores are trained to help fit you into a pair of shoes that give you the healthiest stride and cushion during your runs. They will likely have you walk around the store barefoot and watch you run on a treadmill to see what angles your feet hit the ground. From that information, they’ll recommend shoes that are designed to work with your running style and your body. Good running shoes need to be replaced every 300-400 miles.
What Happens if You Don’t Have the Right Shoes?
When I first started running, I was wearing a pair of Nike Air Pegasus running shoes that I got from Sports Authority. I think they were about $100 and I bought them because they said they were running shoes and they looked good. About 6 months into my running, I finally started getting to the point where I could run about 2 miles and I began having back pain during my runs. This wasn’t a pain I’d ever felt before and it always started right when I got near the 1 ½ mile mark. It was a shooting pain that started around the middle of my butt and went up into my lower back and was so bad that even after I stopped running, I could barely walk the rest of the way home. I was worried that maybe my body just wasn’t cut out for running so I did some research on some running websites. Almost every one of them said if you have any type of back pain while running that you should get checked out for new shoes from a real running store. I found a place called Charm City Run and they fitted me for a pair of shoes. I ran on a treadmill while they video-recorded it so I could see the difference between how my feet in the ground in various shoes. They recommended a pair of Brooks Adrenaline shoes, which ended up costing about the same as the Nike’s I had bought on my own. That day I went for my first run in those shoes and did 2 ½ miles with zero pain. I later found out that the pain I had been experiencing came from the sciatic nerve – as it turns out, the sciatic nerve hates misalignment and since the new shoes corrected that, there was no more pain.
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