When the weather starts turning from freezing and snowy to sunny and warm, it seems like everyone is out running. We don't know how you are feeling, but here at Nature's Bakery we decided we wanted to take advantage of the good weather and pick up running. At the office we have tons of active employees who participate in activities ranging from CrossFit to mountain biking to paddle boarding to softball to soccer and on and on. Some employees decided this was the year to start constantly running... for FUN, but the challenge was getting the motivation to run for the sake of running, not for a finish line, to score a point or make a goal.
After strapping on some shoes and just going for it, some of our staff decided there are some things we wish we had known or listened to before our first run.
- Stretching after a run, no matter if it is 2 miles or 20 miles, actually makes a difference the next day.
- It took at least 3 weeks of running 3-4 days a week before our muscles got used to running. The calves, the quads, and the hamstring might always be the first to get sore and need stretching. Stop and stretch if need be. You'll be able to run longer if you do this step and then continue your run. It surely helped many of our staff members.
- The type of shoes you wear really makes a difference and changing them out makes for a more comfortable and enjoyable run.
- Fuel does make a difference. We aren't going to tell you when the best time for you to eat/snack during your run, but most of the staff refuels during (depending on how much they run) and right after the run. As we are a little bias in the office, we do enjoy a Fig Bar right afterwards while making a nice breakfast or lunch.
- We think it is okay to stop, breath and even walk when you're first starting out. Maybe it is a walk with little sprints or jogs mixed in. All that matters is the try and getting to the personal goal you have set.
Although the above tips are from the Nature's Bakery staff, we wanted you to read some first-hand advice from a running coach and someone who has started out with no running experience and now enjoys it and competes in events. Read below for some tips and tricks from runner/running coach and member of the Nature's Bakery community, Ryan Sullivan.
- Pace yourself by starting with short runs and working your way up to longer ones.
- If you have a bad day, know that it is just one day and that you can try again tomorrow.
- Join a running group or find a running partner to support you and your running goals.
- Besides running, look into other forms of exercise to work other muscles in your body (i.e. yoga, swimming, biking).
- Sign up for a race to keep you motivated with your running goals.
- Ask for advice from fellow runners to gain more insight into running techniques, gear, etc.
- If you take your smartphone on your run, be sure to turn it on airplane mode, so you are not disturbed during your run.
- Be sure your shoes are not worn out. The general rule is for every 500 miles you run, you should change them out.
- During warmer weather, be sure to wear lightweight clothes that have light colors. This way, your body will be able to breathe better while on your run.
- Also during warmer weather, start off running away from the wind. This way, during the second half of your run, you will be running against the wind and can cool off.
Follow Nature's Bakery community member Ryan Sullivan on Instagram for more advice: https://instagram.com/rysulli/