My earliest memory of running was at a jog-a-thon fundraiser for my pre-school in 1980. I remember running around the modified track that was made just for us little ones. What fun that was! Running comes naturally to me, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.
Most often people have tried a Couch-to-5K program or recently bought a treadmill but haven’t found a way to “like” running. What I’ve found to be the common reason people don’t like to run is because they haven’t learned how to run.
Yes, everyone should learn how to enjoy running!
Although I have a natural passion for running, I also had to learn how to run properly. I’ll share what I learned, and how to do it in 4 simple steps.
- Preparation. This first step can be the most time-consuming, but taking the time to prepare will ensure happiness down the road! Supportive running gear is needed if you plan to run a 5K. Visit a reputable shoe store, like Fleet Feet, where your running stride is evaluated then matched with the perfect running shoe. Expect that they will also recommend supportive shoe inserts and socks. For women, look for a supportive sports bra. Fleet Feet can also assist with bra fittings. There are several brands to try, but I recommend Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra. It’s 100% supportive, so there’s absolutely no jiggling and it will help to keep your running form straight and ease any back tension. All other outerwear depends on the elements, whether it’s warm or chilly.
- Form. Your body should be relaxed while running. Often we are anxious at the start of a run so our shoulders are tensed and high up to our necks. To correct this, imagine you are holding a plate at your waist. You should be able to run comfortably with this plate at waist level.
I know these 4 steps will help you run properly and enjoy it!
BONUS TIP #5 Ditch the music – for now. While you’re learning the proper way to run, focusing on your breathing and form are very important. Listen to your breathing. Is it comfortable and controlled? Can you hear yourself count, “1, 2, 3, 4…”? Remind yourself to relax, loosen your shoulders, and keep your elbows close to your body. These things will become automatic in time. Then you’ll be able to enjoy running with your favorite songs!