Cross Training Is Everything
One of my biggest original hurdles to becoming a runner was shin splints. I couldn’t work my way around them. No matter what I would do, I would end up in pain. But the thing about shin splints for me is that like previously noted: my body was compensating for strength I didn’t have. And once I started doing classes on the Peloton regularly, I started building up strength I didn’t know I needed.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that more running will make you a better runner when what you need to do is add in strength/cross training. There are tons of way to do this depending on what works for you. But like many sports, running is one that requires lots of skills. So if you want to get better, you’re going to need diversify your training.
Do A Treadmill Run – Even If You Hate Them
As we’ve gotten into the winter months, I’ve started adding treadmill runs into my routine. My lungs are grateful for the reprieve of dryer weather. It also majorly helps with being consistent with daily workouts because I’m not having to adjust to the weather. But I digress. I know many people who run or try to run do it outside because the idea of treadmill running drives them crazy. I get it.
Nevertheless, it’s also majorly helpful when you’re learning your pace, looking to build up strength, or want a consistent form of training. Florida is known for many things (a lot of them not fabulous). But if you’ve ever tried to run with humidity, you’ll know it’s a bitch. Add in the wind coming off the water with varying speeds and you get the drift. It’s hard to be consistent when the constants aren’tt constant.
Treadmill runs give you a solid idea of how long you can stay at one pace without the added bonus of the outside elements. So even if you hate them and they seem like the worst idea ever, give them a try. And if you need the motivation/extra hand, see the next tip.
Make Running Classes Your Friend
It’s really easy to get into a comfortable rut/not progress with running because you’re stuck on the belief that you’re only so fast. Except you’re probably faster and have no clue: enter running classes. I use these most often when I travel or run new terrain because they are timed and tell me when to turn around. But I also use them to let someone else coach me and show me my weak spots.
Again, Peloton has my fave running classes. I’ve seen small but also major changes simply by swapping them into my routine. I’ve learned so much about form & my own speed levels but I’ve also found that they are great for showing me when I’m holding myself back. You don’t need to own the bike to take them. And the app is filled with loads of classes from all angles geared towards runners.
Do It For You
When I first started running, I had this idea of what it meant to be a runner. Of course, this meant I set a standard that I didn’t quite live up to and it took me a really long time to define what it meant for ME to be a runner. I.e. not always just going for long runs, being able to enjoy interval running, taking it at my own pace.
It’s not realistic or enjoyable for everyone to want to go for a 9-mile run all the time. And that’s okay. Learn to define running for you and what brings you joy. It doesn’t matter how you do the miles. It just matters that you do.