Running: What I've Learned So Far

I've now been running for about eight weeks, and I've gotten better. I'm not going to be running any marathons anytime soon, but just the fact that I get a little excited every day that I go out to run, and I feel even more accomplished when I finish!

I have learned quite a lot since my last running blog post, so here's a nice rundown:

SPIBelt over FlipBelt

I told you all about the new FlipBelt that I had ordered and begun to use. I also told you that I'd probably gone for the smaller size and it was shrugging up to my natural waist instead of staying at my hips. Luckily, a friend of mine (who's about to have a baby) sent me her SPIBelt to use. I used it once, and knew I wasn't going to use the FlipBelt again.

Instead of being a stretchy material, it's a belt with a clasp. While the pocket looks really small, it can hold my iPhone comfortably, and I can sneak a couple other things in there, too, if necessary.

I like that it stays around my hips, and it's easier to open and get to my phone when I start and stop my Runkeeper app. Plus, it's adjustable, so I don't need to guess on a size!

I actually sent the FlipBelt back to Amazon and got my money back. I'm pleased with my decision.

Water on the run

Two years ago I purchased a nice waterbottle from NathanSports with a fabric around it to help with gripping. I take it with me on my runs because it is so dry around here that I need to hydrate every 5 minutes or so. I can't wait to get back to the apartment, because my runs are getting longer.

The waterbottle also has a pocket, so I can store smaller things in there if my SPIBelt were to run out of room.

Eventually, I will need to also look into food intake during my runs, too. Apparently there are some energy gels that I can use, but I need to try them out before I make a commitment to them.

Early to rise

The weather here has been quite odd - especially in June. We had a lot of cloudy and rainy days instead of just showers in the afternoons and evenings. This meant that the whole day was a lot cooler than usual, and I could run later in the morning and still feel comfortable.

In July the weather returned to "normal," but I didn't quite catch on to that fact. On Monday I postponed my run to about 8:30, and that was a terrible idea. The sun was high in the sky and it was hot. It meant I had one of my slower runs, and I felt exhausted and worn out by the end instead of feeling good.

Two days later, I ran at 6:30, and my run was much, much better. I hate not being able to sleep in as much, but if it means I will feel better after my run, I'll do it. Plus I can get so much work done after my run since I have more time in the day!

Run right - arms

I have a run section on Pinterest, and I've gotten a lot of good motivational quotes and tips from there. One thing I learned was about the position of my arms. If I'm not thinking about it, my arms swing up at and across my chest. This is a real waste of energy.

Instead, I focus on keeping my arms at my sides, bent at the elbow about ninety degrees. Instead of clenching my fists, I have one hand on my waterbottle and the other hand as if I'm lightly holding onto a potato chip. I also make sure to keep my arms swinging forward.

Run right - breathing

Another tip I learned was how to get the most out of breathing. They say to try not to breathe from your chest, because that's very shallow. Instead, "belly breathe."

Now I've been belly breathing ever since Freshman Chorus at MLS. My experience in different choral groups has really helped me learn how to use that same technique when I run. When I really focus on the breathing, it does help me feel better and give me more energy! (and oxygen!)

Don't eat pizza the night before a run

Your tummy will not appreciate it, and then you will not appreciate your run.

Prep for race

My 5K training program ends next week, but my race (the Broncos 7K) isn't until Labor Day weekend. What do I do between? Well, I keep running! The difference between a 5K and a 7K is 1.2 miles (or 2K, duh), so I don't have to increase all that much.

My long runs have been 50-55 minutes, and while my Runkeeper app just says I need to keep going, I try to make sure I jog the whole time. I did actually run a 7K in one of those long runs!

Prep for the race after that!

I have registered for the Star Wars Half Marathon (which you can read more about here). Well, actually I registered for the Rebel Challenge, which is a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday! I've got six months to go, and I've got a good feeling about this!


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