Sponsored by FlipBelt.
1. Run For A Reason
I can’t stress how important this is. What is your motivation? Is it to lose weight? To accomplish something you didn’t think you could? To get the prize at the end of the race? To get a new PR? Whatever your reason is, make sure you have one. It’s a whole lot easier to get through training, and you will feel amazing when you reach your goal.
2. The Essentials
Don’t be afraid to take things with you. It took me a while to realize how helpful it can be to carry some snacks along for the run, especially when the miles start to build up. If you have a hard time keeping your energy levels up, try Mangodrin. You guys have heard me talk about it a million times, but I can’t say enough good things about it! Just make sure you drink at least a full glass of water after taking it. It can be hard to carry additional items with you which is why I LOVE my FlipBelt! FlipBelt is a sleek running belt designed to hold your on-the-go-essentials without tying up your hands, and we’re giving one away at the end of this article. Here are a few things I keep in my FlipBelt:
- Deep Blue Rub packets (I rub this on my knees and ankles when they start to ache)
- PowerBar Gel Blasts Energy Chews
- House Key
- GU Energy Gel
There are so many apps out there to help you train for your big race. Two of my personal favorites are Nike Plus and Nike Running Race Coach. Nike Plus tracks and logs your mileage. It can be used for indoor and outdoor runs, as well as on the treadmill. You can set goals for distance, time, and speed. Every time you reach a mile it notifies you, which 10 times better than checking your phone every few minutes to see how far you’ve gone. You can even sync up with your friends for some extra motivation. Nike Running Race Coach creates a customized schedule for you depending on your race goals. All you have to do is enter in the distance, the date of your race, choose whether you want to 1. Finish a Race, 2. Set a New PR, or 3. Lead From the Front. The App creates a calendar that you can download to your smart phone or computer. It even includes workout advice on your off days where you won’t be running. Have any other apps you love? Leave a comment and let us know!
4. Are We There Yet?
When I first started running, all I could think about is how far I still had to run. Honestly, it was probably the worst possible thing I could have been thinking about. If I had to run 5 miles, after 2 miles I was instantly thinking “3 more to go.” If I had to run 6 miles, I was saying “How am I supposed to be able to run 7 more miles on top of this at my race?!” Once I learned how to lose myself in the run, big changes began to happen and my confidence started to build up. My runs became more of a stress reliever. Now I focus my music, things I need to get done throughout the day, running new routes, and my surroundings.
Some people believe you don’t need music while you run. I personally love it. Just make sure you play it at a volume where you can still here what’s going on around you. Check the regulations of your race before you start training because some do not allow you to listen to music during the race. Need some workout mix inspiration? Check out some of our workout playlists!
With as much running as you will be doing, try not to neglect your strength. Maintaining strength will with injury prevention and make it easier to get through your run. A simple at-home or body weight workout is plenty. Save strength for post-runs and moderate effort days.
It is just as important to rest as it is to run. Your body needs to rebuild and repair, especially since you are pushing your body to new limits. This includes stretching and taking care of anything that may be hurting. Ice is your best friend. Use it!
8. Have fun
Most importantly, have fun with it! There might be days where you question why you ever signed up to do such a thing. I promise you the feeling when you cross the finish line will be more than worth it. You may just be crazy enough to sign up for another one.
Now is your chance to win a FlipBelt! Leave a running tip in the comments below! One winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday July 7th!