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Ins and outs of running

December 7th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Makenzie Hunter

What you need to know when learning to run… everyone’s a runner!

Running.  Most people hear the word and tremble at the thought. I hear this word and lace up my Asics, grab my IPod and head out for a long run. I crave the runner’s high, and the adrenaline from a race. You may think I am crazy, but this form of cardio has become my stress release, workout, therapy and addiction. This has not always been my reaction, however, but rather an acquired addiction over the past six years as I have trained for various races.

You may think you are physically incapable of running or simply are not a runner, this is not true.  Every runner has to start somewhere, though many do not know how. The right shoes, stretches, foods and so much more greatly influence your performance as well as how you feel before, during, and after running. So, I have researched and found some great sites, facts, recipes,etc to guide anyone without a trace of runner inside them to get motivated and hit the treadmill, trails, track, or streets.

Fuel Your Body


What to Eat:

The best food for runners includes healthy portions of the following foods.
Almonds– Runners are recommended a small handful 3-5 times a week. Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, but also help manage healthy cholesterol levels decreasing the chance of heart disease. You can add nuts as a snack or sneak them into your meals.
Eggs– Eggs contain crucial amounts of amino acids necessary to your recovering muscles after a long run. Avoid preparing eggs with excess oils
and fats.

Chicken– Runners need about 50 to 75 percent more protein than non runners to restore the body after a long workout. With the various options, there are literally hundreds of healthy chicken recipes. Try grilled or broiled chicken and avoid fried chicken.

Remember to stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day.

Listen to Your Body



Injuries seem to come with the territory when it comes to running. However, proper footwear, stretching and other precautions can greatly decrease and minimize injuries.

Black Toenails– Black or lost toe nails are common among distance runners. A simple solution to avoid this is to keep your toe nails trimmed. Long nails hit the front of your shoes, especially running downhill. To avoid this painful experience and keep as many toe nails as possible, keep them trimmed.

Stretching before and after run–  Stretching before a run is just as important as stretching after.  Taking 10 minutes to stretch before will loosen up your muscles and warm your body, reducing the risk of injury.  Stretching after also reduces the chances of injury by relaxing the strained muscles.

Another simple and basic rule to abide by is know your limits. As runners, we are constantly pushing for a faster mile time, or tacking on heavy mileage, but our bodies to have limits. Downloadable training schedules are readily available online for runners preparing for long races. Following the schedules, including cross training, will adequately prepare you for your race, though does not eliminate the risk of injury, but greatly prepares your body and muscles for the race.

What Not to Wear


The single most important apparel when it comes to running is of course running shoes. The wrong shoes, or worn down shoes can cause injuries to the feet and legs. Since there are many sizes and shapes of feet, naturally, there are just as many types and styles of shoes. Different brands may feel perfect on one person’s feet, but not another’s. Go in ready to ask questions and try on various styles and brands. When trying on a pair, make sure you have on running socks for an accurate fit. Typically, you will need to go up a half size.

Avoid discomfort:

For chafing, use Body Glide or Vaseline to relieve any discomfort. Band-Aids are essential for running, use them to cover blisters or irritated places on the feet.

“Bad weather” is a bad excuse to not go for a run. Each year, the top running brands come out with even more cutting edge running clothes and equipment for all types of weather. But you do not need to have the latest and most expensive running wardrobe to still enjoy your run.


Gloves- A pair of simple knit gloves is perfect for running. Keeping your hands warm from the cold will make a world of difference.

Ear Warmer- Your ears catch a lot of the cold and often go unprotected. So, throw on an ear warmer for cold runs.

Under Armour– This brand is by far the greatest brand because it keeps your body warm without suffocating you or holding all the sweat in. Running tights keep the legs warm and come at different lengths for the different degrees of cold. Make sure to buy the right size-you will be very frustrated if you are constantly pulling your under armor shirt down. Other great brands are Nike, and Ph8.


Avoid Cotton- Cotton shirts and shorts are the worst in the heat. Not only do they chafe, but also hold in sweat. Loose fitting clothes allow the body to cool itself naturally.

Make sure to wear sunscreen to avoid getting burned. Hydration is crucial for hot runs! Be sure to get plenty of water before, during and after a hot run.

Get Motivated and Get Moving

It’s hard to be motivated to start running. It seems to get harder and harder each time you get out there—that is normal! Your body will adjust the more consistent you are with your workouts. But for those who hit a wall within the first few weeks one of the greatest motivators in good music. There is nothing like preparing a running playlist with up-beat songs to get you moving. Running cases and head phones are available for all iPod types. My favorite head phones are the Phillips SHS3200, they are low priced and stay in my ears. Make sure to find a case that will hold your iPod secure and not move around while you run. Blast your favorite song and enjoy your runs.

After training for a couple months, sign up for a race. Start with an easy 1 mile or 5K run, and then work up from there. Set goals and times you want to achieve. You will be amazed at the natural “high” that comes from a race. It is an addictive atmosphere leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment. Most races pass out T-shirts and other merchandise to registered races. Do not be intimidated, everyone has their own pace and shows up to have fun. A race is a great way to celebrate all your hard work, and showcase how it has paid off. Remember, running does not stay hard.

With each week, the miles do get easier and recovery time faster. Patience is key when it comes to running. It is a skill and workout that you can take pretty much anywhere. The runner’s high will come, along with the desired results of hard cardio workouts. Everyone can be a runner, so lace ‘um up and start running.

My favorites:

Shoes: Asics
Clothing: Under Armor,
Nike, Ph8
Snack: Almonds
Running Songs: “I like It” Enrique Iglesias ft. Pitbull “Airplanes” B.o.B ft. Haley Williams, songs by Rihanna and Ke$ha
On the Web: Runnersworld.com


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  1. One Response to “Ins and outs of running”

  2. By Erika Rasmussen on Dec 8, 2010

    I love this Makenzie! I used to hate running, and now I am addicted. Like you, I use it as my stress reliever and crave the runner’s high. Music is the BEST part of running, and without my Ipod, I would be worthless! Great writing, I really enjoyed this!

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