Running Tips to Help You Increase Your Mileage
Running is one of the most popular ways to exercise. But it’s not an easy task. Starting to run and/or working your way up to a certain distance takes time and strategic planning. If you jump the gun and increase your daily or weekly mileage too fast, you may end up injuring yourself… and then hindering your progress for a lengthy period of time (trust me, I’ve been there!). While I don’t call myself a running expert, I have taken myself from couch potato to half marathoner twice, and taken myself from social walker to 5k and 10k diva more times than I can count! I’ve done a lot of trial and error, and I want to share my tips and experiences in hopes to help even one person reach their running goals!
1. Pick a race.
There’s something to be said about the old saying, “Keep your eyes on the prize” When you pick a race, you’ll have that date in your mind, you’ll be visualizing “the prize.” What better way to motivate yourself to push past your comfort zone than having an event.
2. Create a calendar or a plan.
Fail to plan = plan to fail. If you have a calendar, you can split that big goal into attainable weekly goals. When I was trying to increase my mileage and work my way up to a higher mile race, I’d increase my “long run” day by one mile every 1-2 weeks. For example, I’d look at my calendar to see how many weeks I had until race day. If I was working my way up to a 10k (6.2 miles), I’d do 6 miles for my long run the 2 weeks prior, 5 miles for my long run the week before that, 4 miles the week before that, etc, while doing shorter runs on my other running days.
3. Don’t wear old, worn out shoes.
This one is more important than you might realize… When I first started running, I was putting 15-20 miles a week on shoes that I’d had for maybe 2-3 years. I didn’t think much of it at the time, until the pain in my feet, ankles, calves, and knees made me put running on hold. Running shoes are made to support your stride (and different running shoes support different types of strides). The more you run in your shoes, the less effective they get. It doesn’t happen overnight, but over a long period of time.
I’ve been wearing Mizuno’s for the last year for my running days. I’m rockin the Mizuno Wave Rider 21
‘s right now because they make my runs better… and here are my top 3 reasons why they’re my favorite running shoe:
1. I don’t get heel blisters if my socks slide down. There’s cushioning on the heel, which 1) helps my socks stay in place and 2) keep my heels from getting irritated.
2. They’re really breathable. Which is extra wonderful when you live in Georgia and it’s hot most of the time!
3. My foot feels supported but the shoe isn’t heavy. A lot of shoes that brag about how much support they give the foot feel HEAVY and almost like your foot is weighed down. I hate that. These Wave Rider 21’s aren’t heavy but they still provide the right amount of support.
4. Foam Roll, Massage, Stretch.
Seems obvious, right? Then why is it so easily neglected? If you don’t have a foam roller, they’re miracle workers. I’m not an expert, but please don’t neglect your sore or tight muscles.
5. Celebrate every single victory.
Running is hard. SO HARD. But so rewarding. Had a bad day but you still got a short run in? GO YOU! Ran .25 miles more than you thought you could? HECK YES. Didn’t feel like you were going to throw up after a hard run? SLAY. I think you catch my drift. You are AMAZING because you are taking steps to better yourself. Celebrate YOU.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.
Things To Do With Your Dog
One of my favorite things about having a dog is being able to go on walks and runs with them.
Benefits of Running With Your Dog:
Ally and I both get a lot out of running: I get my daily cardio in, some fresh air after being inside most of the day, and some quality time with my pup; She gets to stretch her overly-energetic legs, see the sights and smell the scents of the outdoors, and she doesn’t have to get left behind at home. Win, win!
In order to keep yourself and your dog happy and healthy for these activities, I created a list of things that I have come across while running with my dog.
So here are my do’s and don’t’s for running with your dog!
Jogging With Your Dog
DO: Talk to your vet before! Your vet will let you know of any red flags. It’s also good for them to know how active your dog is – in case of any health concerns later on down the road!
DON’T: Take a young puppy on a long run. Their bones and joints are still developing! It’s best to wait until your puppy is done growing before taking them on a long-distance run. When Ally was a puppy, I kept our walk/jogs less than 1 mile, and we built up to that gradually!
DO: Stay updated on flea and tick preventative! Being outdoors, especially in the spring, summer, and fall, unwanted pests will leap (literally) at the opportunity to host on your dog… Then you have to deal with them in your house!
DON’T: Let them pull you. This is for your safety as well as your dog’s safety. Also, use a 4-6 ft. leash. This gives them enough space to not trip you, and doesn’t give them too much freedom to get distracted or get in anyone else’s way! Some people say that your dog should never be in front of you… I don’t personally follow this. Ally helps me keep my pace when I want to slow down or stop!
DO: Stay hydrated and take water breaks. You need to stay hydrated for a better run. Your dog can’t sweat like we do, so they need water for hydration and to keep them cooled off.
DON’T: Forget about their sensitive paws! This means… Don’t run on hot pavement or on ice/snow. Your pup doesn’t have sleek Nikes like you do! Their paws are exposed to whatever they are standing on. They can get burned on hot pavement and can sting after running on ice. Also, make sure nothing gets stuck in your dogs paw while on a run! Trapped gravel, dirt clumps, sand, etc. can cause a lot of discomfort for dogs.
DO: Have a plan for #2. Let’s be honest… Sh** happens. All jokes aside, activity and exercise can make a dog’s digestive system move and groove. So make sure you have a waste bag with you! Ally is famous for this.
DON’T: Ignore warning signs. Pay attention to your dog. If they are slowing down, foaming at the mouth, panting extremely hard, coughing, take a break. Let your dog rest and give them water. If Ally gets to this point, I always take the safe route and head home.
DO: HAVE FUN!! This can become special quality time for you and your dog. Whether you’re running around your neighborhood or exploring a new trail, your dog will appreciate that you wanted to bring them along with you. It might take a couple of runs before you and your dog get the hang of things. But practice makes perfect!
Ally is the reason I have discovered some of my favorite running spots in metro Atlanta. That’s why I’m proud to say, “My running partner has 4 paws!”
*Picture: Ally and I after the Atlanta Dog Jog in May 2015
What helpful things would you add to this list for running with your dog? Do you enjoy running with your dog?