Posts

What you count as fun while running can be subjective. Maybe you need to leave the GPS behind and just enjoy the scenery, or maybe you need to try running in a group.

Regardless of whether you’re new to running or a seasoned veteran, everyone can benefit from mixing up their training a bit to help bring some fun back to a sport that we love so much.

Here are some things you can do to make your runs fun:

1. Run Together With Friends

Maybe a friend or a neighbor also goes running regularly, and wouldn’t mind joining you on your runs. You can join a training program as well, where you can find new running buddies. Running together with people that have similar goals and being a part of a larger running community can be fun.

Consider developing a hangout for your running buddies. You can decide to meet at a local area after your runs, so you can relax and hang out. You may also decide to meet for breakfast. Turning your daily run into a social event can help you enjoy it even more.

2. Running Events Can Be Fun

Running events like the 3M Half Marathon or the Austin Marathon are a fantastic way to bring some joy to running. Not only can you meet new people with a shared hobby, but you’ll also get to experience your own city (or destination cities all over the world) in a brand new way.

2022 3M Half Marathon Recap

3. Change Your Routine

Running the same route every day can get tedious. Instead, why not change up your routine, to make running more fun? Maybe you’re more interested in social runs, or you may prefer running alone. From time to time, switch up how you go running.

Run in different places, maybe even in the woods when you have time. Eventually, running the same route can start to feel stale. But consider also that you can explore new places while you run, which can make your daily runs a lot more fun.

Another way to change up your routine is to go running at different times of the day. If you usually go running in the mornings, then try going for a run after work.

4. Help Others Through Running

Some people need the help of a goal to start running regularly. This provides them with a sense of purpose. Consider running for charity or to raise funds. You can align yourself with your favorite organization, and the proceeds you raise from running will go to your chosen organization.

A fun way to dip your toe into this is by volunteering at a local running event. These events run on help from those in the community, and you’ll be doing a great service to your fellow runners which always feels good.

5. Gamify Your Run

You can download and have fun using running apps, and there are plenty to choose from. You can use apps to measure the number of miles you’ve run. You can also build a training log for yourself, and even keep track of your friends. Running apps can provide you with motivation, and also turn running into a social event.

6. Pay Attention to Your Body

The most important thing while running is to listen to what your body is trying to say to you. Don’t compare yourself to others who run more than you, or those who train hard every day. You need to run in a way that suits you. Listen to what your body wants to tell you, and take rest days when you feel it’s necessary.

When you nurture your needs and take care of yourself, all your runs will turn out to be more fun for you.

Giving birth to a baby is like no other experience in this world. It is highly gratifying to nurture a life inside you and then bring them into this world. Returning to running after pregnancy will require consideration of the demand your body has been through both emotionally and physically.

On the other, pregnancy also takes a heavy toll on you both physically and emotionally. The period that immediately follows childbirth (postpartum) can be equally taxing. Sliding back to normalcy and getting back into your previous running routine may take some time. 

Luckily, we’re here with some tips that may help get you back to training for a half marathon sooner than you think. 

Start slowly & be realistic 

Whether you are deciding to start training during pregnancy or after childbirth, the first thing you should do is discuss your plan with your doctor. For hassle-free pregnancies, your doctor may recommend weekly strength training or aerobic exercises. During the pregnancy/postpartum period, your body undergoes a lot of cardiovascular changes, resulting in more oxygen circulating through the body. This means your body is functioning more efficiently and you can use that to your advantage.

However, whether during pregnancy or postpartum it is important to keep the intensity level of your exercise in mind. When starting a post-baby workout, you’ll want to consider a few things: your level of activity before and during pregnancy, the type of delivery you had, and your overall health condition, both physical and mental. It is recommended you do not go into overdrive with your training schedule post-delivery. 

Brace yourself up for hormonal changes 

The increased release of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy (and also while breastfeeding) results in the pelvic floor becoming more relaxed. This, in turn, may also impact your ligaments and joints while running, increasing the chances of injury. It is, therefore, advisable to start with low-impact aerobic exercises followed by strength training. These will help strengthen your muscles and prep you for a better training regimen in the future. 

Eat a nutrition-rich diet

Try to incorporate food items that are rich in iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B, and D. These will help your body recover faster from both pregnancy and running. Iron and electrolytes are especially helpful in avoiding dehydration, and if you are breastfeeding they also help prevent a drop in breastmilk production. Here are some healthy and easy breakfast ideas that fit the bill, try them out!

Pay attention to your feet

Your earlier training shoes may not fit you anymore as you may have experienced swelling in your feet, and unfortunately in some cases, your feet will be permanently bigger. Consult a professional for an appropriate shoe size for your feet. 

Do not carry your baby on the same side of your body 

Make it a point to switch sides while holding your baby. Otherwise, when you start intensifying your exercise after delivery your lower back muscles may soon give up on you. This may lead to immense pain and suffering down the hip and the leg of the side you are most used to carrying your child on.  

Run with your baby 

Babies are usually able to handle a running stroller around 6-9 months of age. Once the baby’s doctor says it’s safe; by all means, you should take your baby with you while you are running! This is a great way to bond with your new child. Just be sure to buckle them in safely according to the standards of your running stroller. Head here for some helpful tips about running with a stroller. 

Manage your load

Before you start preparing for the marathon, walk for 30 minutes without any discomfort. Once you are comfortably walking at this pace and time increment for a few weeks you can then start slowly running. You may begin at low weekly mileage and then move up slowly. You may gradually increase your speed too once your pelvic and leg muscles are strong enough to absorb the load. 

 

By following the above guidelines, you will find yourself back to a normal training routine in no time. Just remember not to push yourself too hard; listen to your body, start slow, and stay hydrated. Through a healthy and productive training regimen, you’ll be back running a marathon in no time. 

Veteran runners provide important tips for beginner half marathoners

People register for half marathons for all sorts of reasons. Some sign up because they want the sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing their first finish line. Others because they want to prove something to themselves or others. While the motives to start running may differ, one thing remains true: everyone is a beginner at some point! Completing your first 13.1-miler is an experience you won’t forget. Beginner half marathoners looking for advice have come to the right place. We collected the advice for beginner half marathoners that’s beneficial, thoughtful, insightful, and worth a read! Pro tip: if some terms are unfamiliar then become familiar with them!

Nutrition and hydration

  • Make sure your nutrition/hydration plan accounts for race-day temperatures.
  • Stop drinking about an hour before the start.
  • Stop at the aid stations before you think you need to. Some experienced runners will talk about how getting a little dehydrated is totally fine – and it is. But for your first half marathon, you risk more by letting yourself get behind on hydration than overdoing it.
  • Practice eating nutrition and drinking hydration during training. Experiment to find what works best for you. Make sure your stomach tolerates it. You might deal with some things better than others!

Training

  • Consistency in training.
  • If you trained well, then you’ve done everything that’s within your control. 
  • When running up and down hills, shorten your stride. Study the maps. Run the tangents.

Mentality

  • Start now ignoring that voice in your head that will tell you, this is hard, you can’t do it, you’re too old, it hurts, you can try again another race. You have to push through believing in your training and your determination and perseverance!
  • Bad patches will pass if you just distract yourself for a bit.
  • Don’t get stressed if you are a little boxed in early on.
  • Smile at all the cameras, thank as many volunteers as you can, high five all the people that put their hand out, take in all the scenery and enjoy every bit of it – YOU’RE RUNNING A HALF MARATHON!

Logistics

  • Body-glide, don’t forget it. 
  • Cotton is not your friend. 
  • However long you anticipate your half marathon will take to finish, multiply it by 2.5. Then make sure your playlist is that long, especially if you want warm-up tunes at the start line. There’s something weirdly demoralizing about your playlist starting over again when you thought it was long enough. 
  • If you feel a blister forming look for an aid station and add some vaseline or moleskin (if available).

Pacing

  • If you feel like you need to walk you need to slow down.
  • Run at your target pace, do not get sucked into running faster because of the rush you get from the other runners/crowd. 
  • Don’t go out too fast! The secret to a fast half marathon is a negative split (meaning you run the second half of your race faster than the first half). Patience! 
  • Go slow, start slow, and ignore the pressure to pick up your pace just because you’re doing well. 
  • Do not set a time goal for your first half marathon.
  • If you don’t think you’re going too slow, you’re going too fast.

And the most common advice we heard for beginner half marathoners?

Nothing. New. On. Race. Day!