Now that the Spring is finally here, we have already started to see running pop up in WODs and more than likely going to see more running as part of the group warm-ups. There are probably a bunch of you that are new to running and dreading seeing the “R” word on the website.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for new runners that will hopefully make this part of the workout less daunting:
1) Start where YOU are – not where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to scale the run during the WOD as you work on this skill – and never forget that it is a skill. Running is high intensity and high impact, so start small and build gradually. If you’ve never really run before and try to jump right into a competitive 5K – that is a sure recipe for shin splints, achy knees/back and days of recovery. There’s no shame in starting small – even walking at first, then mix walking with some running, running with some walking before trying a unbroken run over distance.
2) Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Everyone starts off at a different pace and space. Yes – I said pace and space because part of running is physical and part is mental and everyone has a different mix concerning where they are at the start.
3) Mix it up! Just as we mix up the movements in WODs, mix up your running. Try different distances, pacing and how you incorporate it into your overall training.
4) Don’t forget to breathe! You’d be surprised at how many people have difficulty with this at the start even on short runs. Let your breathing rate be your guide for pace and intensity.
5) Let your BODY not your BUDDY be your guide – listen to it. That means that when something is achy or in pain, you need to do something to remedy that situation – it could be working on your running technique, mobility or just plain & simple rest. Ignoring the messages your body sends you is a sure way to make that situation worse.
To be continued tomorrow…