Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Running: Beginner Questions

Woo, in Week #2 of the running challenge. I'm feeling good now, but when I took on this challenge, I knew I couldn't let my fears overwhelm me. If I waited to start running until I was comfortable with the idea, then I would have never started.

There are a million questions to be answered, so I'm tackling them as I approach them. Below is a list of the beginner runner questions I've come up with, as well as the answers that I have discovered so far.

> New runners - let me know any additional questions you have for me to tackle!
> Experience runners - please feel free to comment with any advice/suggestions as I'm always looking to learn and there are so many beginner runners out there looking for advice!


Should I eat before?
> You shouldn't run on a full stomach, it can cause side stitches. I run in the morning when I first wake up, so I just have a banana and some water, then my breakfast an hour after running. Other sites recommend: Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Some examples of good pre-workout fuel include: a bagel with peanut butter; turkey and cheese on whole wheat bread; a banana and an energy bar; or a bowl of cold cereal with a cup of milk. 

What should I eat after?
> What you eat all day, every day affects your running (affects your physical and mental wellness!). Be sure to keep hydrated every day, and consistently eat balanced meals. That means good carbs, protein and lots of fruit and veggies! Runners has an entire article about what to eat and when! 

Where do I keep my keys?
> So this won't be a problem once I start running at the gym (I'm no good in cold weather)... but I've been rolling up my keys in my longer socks, or tying them into my shoelace and tucking them under my shoelaces. Running in New York City is not a good place to lose keys, so this has been a hassle, but I like to run outside for now so keys in the shoelaces is my best bet! 

Should I bring water with me?
> How much water you should be drinking depends on how long/fast/hard you run and how hot/cold/humid it is outside. When I run outside I don't bring a water with me because I don't want to carry it. But I drink water before and after, and I'm sure I'll ne\ed to bring water with me on longer runs in the future. Daily Running Tips has good drinking water advice depending on your situation!

What do I wear?
> This varies from man to woman and from season to season. For me being comfortable and not overheated is very important. Runners has an amazing calculator to determine how to dress for all weather - I will definitely be using this when it gets colder! 

Should I listen to music?
> I use my iPhone to track how long I'm running (when to take walk breaks, etc) so I LOVE listening to my music when I run. Remember though if you are running on roads - safety is most important! Be aware of what is around you and don't block out the natural sounds around you. That being said - good music can get you and keep you in running mode!

- Stephanie

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