Running is a personal experience. Each person has to have certain things, or NOT have certain things, certain times of the day…all kinds of things make a run something that is important to each person, and more than just tied your sneakers and heading out.
Here are some of the things that makes my run so personal and so great:
- I’m particular on what I wear when I run. I want to be comfortable as well as cool as I can be. I love the Champion brand by Target because they are dry wick and offer compression gear. I use their bermuda length shorts and their compression sports bras. As for tops, anything that is a tank and is slightly baggy to hide my tummy is perfect. I love wearing Old Navy’s bubble tops and racer back tanks, and altering my dry wick running shirts to racer back tops. Pinterest has tons of options for you to choose from to learn how to change your t-shirts to tanks and racer backs.
- I run in the morning. The earlier, the better: especially since it is SO HOT in Florida. And because I run so early, I don’t usually eat or drink anything if it’s a short run. A glass of water usually to keep hydrated if it’s a short run. If it’s 4 miles or more, I grab some kind of pre-workout stuff like a Gu gel (with caffeine please!) and some kind of power drink. Powerade, Gatorade, Nuun, or a pre-workout powder mixed in water like EBT Uncaged are good choices. Something with electrolytes and a bit of power to get you going is always best.
- I’m the kind of person who needs to have music while running. Thankfully I have an iPhone that allows me to have Pandora and Spotify during my running. Pandora is great if you have favorite artists and want to make a radio station that has like minded bands played. I have been living on Hollywood Undead and the “Turn Down for What” station. As for Spotify, you can create your own playlists with any artist that is on the service. I have a “Shut Up and Run” playlist that I add music to weekly and listen to when I run. Plus – Spotify has now created a program that allows you to hear music based on your pace. I’ve done it a few times, and it’s actually pretty awesome. I’ve not heard the same song once, and it’s based on my pace. I run for a little bit and then the music starts. I highly recommend it.
- I follow a specific training plan, but in order to keep myself interested, I change up my route from time to time. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I run the bridges downtown and I alternate which bridge I run first. Not only does it give me a change in challenge, but it also allows me to keep things different. Sometimes I run with a friend or two, and sometimes I run alone but never without letting someone know where I am. Being safe while running is a big deal. You never want to go with out having someone know where you are running.
- Speaking of runner safety, I always believe that you should run with your cell phone. That way if something happens you have a way to call 911 or someone you love for help. I also never run without my RoadID. As a runner who suffers from migraines, it’s vital to my safety. Sometimes I can get hit with a migraine on a run and need to call for help. Or, and this has happened a few times, I cross the finish line and almost black out from pain. The RoadID allows the people at the race know who to call to get me help. It has my husband’s phone number and my mom’s phone number on it. It’s a piece of equipment that is more important than anything else you use on your runs.
- Post run, it’s important to refuel- especially after a really hot or really long run. Chocolate milk is a great thing to grab, but if you are really hot it shouldn’t be your first choice. Ice water or a cold sports drink should be. In the summer, I grab blue Powerade or fruit punch Gatorade. Then, once I’m cooled off, I grab a good meal. My breakfasts usually include a carb, a fruit, and protien. Lately, my favorite has been either Thomas’ Corn English Muffin or Vans Gluten Free Waffles, with berries and hard boiled eggs. Sometimes I’ll make a sandwich with the eggs and add Greek yogurt with my fruit. My current faves are Oikos Triple Zero yogurt with strawberries, blackberries, peaches, and cantaloupe. If you run at night, lean meats and lots of veggies are a plus.
- And don’t forget to stretch! Yoga is my favorite right now, and it helps my foot immensely.
What are your go to things to make it a great run?