It’s been a bit of a rocky week, but it’s finally Friday! And that means the wonderful weekend is right around the corner…meaning after 5pm today anyway. I always love Fridays because they bring on Saturdays and Sundays! Which brings on running. 🙂
Speaking of running, I decided to do this Five on Friday on running. Specifically, five things I’ve learned since I started running four years ago. I actually ran my 3rd half marathon at the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon in 2012. I will be running it this coming Sunday as my 22nd half. I’ve learned a lot since running my first races in late 2011 and through 2012. And, the learning never truly ends.
1. Speed is relative. Sure, if you’re a fast runner or a professional going for a win, your pace matters quite a lot. But, for most of us, running is a social and healthy fitness endeavor. I know I am out there because I love being with fellow runners and those great endorphins. Oh, and I also like food. No, you can’t go bat crazy eating whatever you want if you run (despite what some may believe), but you can definitely enjoy some treats after your long runs!
2. Running friends are the best. They also can convince you to sign up for races you never thought you wanted to do. Ha. Running friends are there with you through good runs and through those tough training runs where you are anything but singing happy tunes. These are the people who become your sole sisters and brothers. There’s something about seeing you all sweaty and struggling and still wanting to be by your side that makes running friends the best hands down.
3. Fueling can be crucial. The right fuel and nutrition before, during and after your run can make a difference in how your training run or race goes. This is why knowing what your body can handle on the run is especially important. This becomes more vital the more miles you are on the road. If you have something unknown to your system (something you’ve not tried out before), you can not only have a bad run, but it can cause stomach woes which is one of the worst things for a runner. The right timing for having a gel or some sort of nutrition on the run is also key to keeping your blood sugar balanced so you don’t bonk.
4. You are stronger than you think. When you start running, you think running a mile let alone a 5k sounds hard. But, before you know it, you are running 3 to 4 miles regularly and then one day, a half marathon is accomplished. Running teaches us how strong we really are and it helps us learn how to push through pain and discomfort in order to achieve our goals.
5. The right shoes matter. Getting correctly fitted for your running gait is important. With the right shoes, we are not only more comfortable, but you avoid injury. The wrong shoes can cause all sorts of issues with your knees, hips, gait and more. Once you get into the right kind of shoe for your running dynamics, all you have to do is lace them up and get out the door. Well, it’s a great start anyway. 🙂
Of course there are so many more things I’ve learned from running, but these were five of the things that stood out to me as I wrote this blog post. Heck, I could go on and on!
What have you learned from running?