I am Simon and I love to run.
I ran in high school and took a 20 year break from any kind of running. A few years ago my doctor had a serious conversation with me about weight management, stress management, and blood pressure. His prescription for me was a new pair of running shoes! That was back in 2011 and since then I have run seven marathons and even completed a full Ironman triathlon. You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
This is me at the finish of the 2014 Arizona Ironman having just completed moving my body under my own power 140.6 miles in 14 hours. Looking back I wish I was smiling but what is going through my head is the realization that I can do anything and that I might just be slightly crazy.
So…you want to run your first 5k. You can do it! I didn’t start with an Ironman…I started by running around the block.
Let’s start from the bottom. You need shoes…good shoes. Go to a running store. A real running store. Don’t buy your first pair of real running shoes online or from a big box retailer. You need to get fitted for shoes which will involve you trying on a few different pairs and being watched closely as you jog around the shop or on a treadmill. When I first did this the sales person looked me in the eye and said, “For older heavier runners such as yourself…I recommend these ones.” I wanted to punch him in the mouth! Later after completing my first marathon I went back and thanked him.
Go get your shoes and we will talk again next week about what you are going to do with them. Don’t punch the sales person in the mouth!
I hope you had a nice time at the shoe store.
Hello Everyone! I hope you had a nice time at the shoe store and didn’t get in a fight with the sales person. My two favorite stores are Fleet Feet and Road Runner Sports so if you haven’t gone and gotten your shoes yet then make that a top priority. You have to treat your shoes well and know that they aren’t going to last forever. A good pair of running shoes lasts 300 to 500 miles so I tend to burn through mine pretty fast. You running shoes are for running. Don’t use them as your go to pair of shoes for walking. One great thing about running is that you don’t need a lot of stuff.
Next week we will get into a few of the essential items for keeping your running momentum going. For now let’s focus on the fundamentals. I have learned so much by watching YouTube. I have learned how to do everything from changing the oil on a Fiat to rescreening a window. I even learned how to run better! Go on YouTube and watch a few videos on proper running form. For me it was absolutely enlightening and what I basically learned was that I had been doing it wrong.
Here are the basics of running correctly: 1. Stand tall with both together just slightly apart.
2. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
3. Lean forward at the ankles. I picture a downhill ski jumper.
4. As you start to fall over start moving your feet one in front on the other to keep yourself from falling.
5. Concentrate on striking with ground with midsole part of your foot. I was taught that your heels are the brakes and that the toes are the gas. The middle part of your foot is cruise control.
6. Keep your head up and look down the road and not at the ground directly in front of you.
Congratulations…you are running! Smaller steps are good. Big strides will make you hit your heels. It’s “pitter-patter” and not “pound, pound, pound” on the ground.
Once you feel good about your running form I want you to go run around the block. Take it easy. If you need to walk that is ok. Go out there and do it! Next week we will talk about different kinds of runs and some extra stuff you might want to make running more fun.
lets plan your new running life.
Now that you know how to run lets plan your new running life.
I heard that you have to do something for 30 days before it becomes a habit…not sure if that is true but I do know you have to work at something for it to stick. To run that first 5k you are going to need to focus on your running and dedicate time to it. I like to run every other day as it gives your body a chance to recover from the work it did the day prior. Running the same thing all the time gets a little tedious so let’s discuss the three different types of runs you will do in a week: 1. Tempo Run – When you run your tempo run you are trying to run a little faster than you normally would. I listen to my breathing as my guide. When you are running you should be breathing hard but not out of breath.
2. Strength Run – Find a place that has a slight incline or hill. On your strength run you don’t run as fast as your tempo run but instead you focus on running up the hill and then running down the hill.
3. Long Run – When you put your speed and strength together you are able to run longer. Typically on the weekend I try to run the cumulative distance of my tempo and strength runs all at once at a slower pace. You should be able to hold a conversation with someone next to you when you are on your long run.
If you do the above on Tuesday – Thursday, and then Saturday or Sunday and make it a habit you will be long on your way of making your running goals.
Avoiding injury is important. You don’t want increase your distance more than 10% a week over the prior week. Baby steps gets you to where you want to be. Always remember to focus on your running form. I was on my long run today and I found that I was slouching and running slower than normal. I straightened up and tightened my abdominals and found I just naturally started running faster and easier.
How’s it going with your runs?
Don’t feel that you have to go out and try to set the world record for sprinting. We are focusing on keeping ourselves moving and spending less time on the couch. One of the great things about running is that you don’t need a lot of stuff. I have seen guys show up for a marathon barefoot wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. That’s on the extreme end for sure. You have been doing a great job getting out there so reward yourself this week with something fun to make your running more enjoyable. My go to kit includes: · Asics running shoes – you won’t see lots of flashy commercials on TV about these shoes…they are just fantastic and I highly recommend them. After I wear them 500 miles I take them back to my running store and I have them evaluate the tread wear. You can learn a lot about your form from how your shoes look
· Running shorts – any shorts will do but the lighter the better. I find great deals on running shorts at Ross and TJ Maxx. They are usually about $15 from these guys vs. about $40 from the running stores.
· Socks – a couple of good pairs of running socks keep you from getting blisters. I like the Nike Dry Fit socks. Pay attention to the little L and R on the socks as it keeps you from stretching them out.
· Shirt – Don’t go and buy some fancy running shirt. You will get a cool shirt when you run the 5k and that will become your go to for running. In the meantime wear the best piece of dry fit you have.
· Running Ap or Watch – It is so great to track your progress and see the miles rack up. I have a Nike+ watch that works great. It’s a few years old but what I love is the platform that maintains all my stats. Run Keeper and Map My Run are two great alternatives.
Focus this week on staying motivated about your running. You can do it! Increase your running distance by 10% this week and you will continue on that path to running the 5k. Oh…don’t forget to stretch! I am bad about stretching and I need to focus more on it. After your runs stretch out those legs and you will help avoid injury.
Staying hydrated is on the top of everyone’s list when training for a 5K. Whether you’re an avid water drinker or not, adding some pizazz to your water is sure to brighten up your sips, quench your cravings and bring extra vitamins, minerals and hydration to your life.
For example: Throw some fresh watermelon in your bottle to punch in some extra hydration or rosemary, grapefruit and blueberries for an antioxidant overload and a bit of herbal zing! Our Fresh Thyme stores have made your lives easier by already having some of these fun and fresh waters in our juice section—check them out!
We all know the benefits of SPF and always make sure our loved ones are fully lathered before stepping out into the sun. But while fully immersed in your 5K training program, you may forget about protecting yourself from the sun as well.
Applying a generous amount of SPF 30 or higher before you hit the pavement will help save your skin and help you to stay burn-free before your big day! Try Nature’s Gate Sunblock for an all-natural, vegan and fragrance-free sunscreen.
Hint: If you want to take it a step further, choose not to run outside between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2p.m.—the sun’s prime hours!
Taking care of your feet is necessary when forcing major wear and tear on your soles. From comfortability to pampering, giving your lower limbs some attention is crucial.
1. Get on that shoe game. Finding shoes that support your arches, are the perfect width and allow your toes to have space are key ingredients for a comfortable and satisfying training process.
2. Treat your feet. Allowing your feet some major rest time is important after running and working out. Using creams and oils to keep your skin intact will also help with any wear and tear along the way. Load up on Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème or some of our Fresh Thyme Vitamin E Oil to replenish.
3. Don’t forget your legs. Your feet may be sore, but your quads, hamstrings and calves need some love, too! Mix some Everyday Shea Body Care and Moon Valley Organics Muscle Rub for the ultimate leg relaxation combo!
All the hard work that goes into training will also cause you to sweat hard and work hard on your hygiene! Below are a few tips to help you feel good and look good during your training.
1. Wash your face immediately after training. Excessive sweating can cause facial and neck acne when bacteria has time to hide in your pores. Make sure to use warm water and gentle soap to clean your skin regularly. We recommend Alba Botanica products because of their gentle, hypoallergenic and vegetarian based formulas.
2. Wash all garments after each training session. Whether you’re a sweater or not, under garments, tops and bottoms should be washed in between each workout. Although you may not think your 10 minute jog during your work lunch is worth a wash of your leggings, your skin will be happier with fresh, bacteria-free leggings the next day. Check out Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent for their all-natural soaps. Don’t let the term “unscented” scare you, this stuff rocks!
3. Lather, rise, repeat, your feet. Caring for your feet is huge when putting so many miles on them. Be sure to wash all areas of your feet to ensure there is no bacteria build-up and allowing any sores to heal properly. Sneak some of our Funky Feet Oil into your routine to ensure you’re killing all bacteria!
4. Wash with gentle cleanser. Having a more active schedule will ensue your shower time to start racking up. Skin is a very delicate and important part of our body, so be sure to use a gentle cleanser without harsh chemicals, perfumes or alcohol to help avoid drying it out.
5. Don’t hesitate to leave your sweaty locks. Not to contradict everything above, but letting your natural oils soak into your hair is actually worth it! Who knew you could get healthier hair while training for a 5K?
Exploring the limits of your physical fitness and mental drive can take a major toll on your body as a whole. Taking those must-have vitamins is essential for staying on top of your training game and staying healthy during the process.
Multivitamins are a given, but taking additives like fish oil, vitamin C and B-12 are simple and easy ways to get that extra boost!
Fish Oil. Utilizing our limbs more than usual can cause joint pain, muscle aches and inflammation throughout the entire body. Fish oil, or omega-3 fatty acids, can help decrease those annoying discomforts and keep you right on track to reach your goals—pain free! We suggest Carlson Labs Very Finest Fish Oil to take by the spoonful, mix in with foods or even put it on a salad!
Vitamin C. This antioxidant needs to be a regular in your diet in order to stay healthy and well. Our bodies are unable to produce this necessary vitamin, so the simplest way to get our supply is by our multi vitamins and an extra vitamin C pill.
Vitamin B-12. This nutrient is essential for daily energy, which in turn provides you with better focus and motivation by breaking down the food you eat and turns that into the extra oomph you need to power through your training session.