It's another Tuesday on the Run - and today we're talking about the best running advice we've ever received. This is a very hard prompt for me, since I have received a LOT of advice over the past couple of years, most of which has made me faster, stronger, and more devoted to the world of running. Much of that advice was indirect, and I didn't really absorb it at the time, so it's hard to really pinpoint what the actual best advice has been. So instead, here are some pieces of advice I have found most useful over the past two years!
Get fitted for the right shoes. I ran in whatever was around for a while, then I ran in some hand-me-downs from a multi-marathoner because they were better shoes, but neither plan was what one might call a "good idea". Finally, I went to a running specialty store and not only bought shoes that were right for my gait, I also had custom insoles fitted. Having shoes that fit properly and compensated for the tendencies of my running style made it possible for me to move forward in training and achieve new goals. It cannot be stressed enough, the importance of wearing the right shoes!
Run slower to run faster. Counter-intuitive though it may seem, this phrase is pretty often heard around the running world, and when I happened to start paying heed to it in the middle of a recent race, I learned that it was far more true than it sounds. Training doesn't have to be all-out, balls-to-the-wall speed training every time you lace up; in fact, slowing down really can make a huge difference in how fast you run. Check out some training plans and find one that matches some of your goals and your schedule, you'll be surprised!
Recovery, recovery, recovery. Building a solid recovery program is so key to staying on your feet and moving forward. Injury lurks in every shadow, especially when you're increasing training to prepare for a big goal. Taking proper care of your body post-run and on off days is vital to maintaining your training gains and staying healthy. When I was a team sport athlete, I definitely did NOT spend enough time thinking about recovery; I am pretty sure I sabotaged myself frequently because I wouldn't take ten minutes to stretch or roll out a tweaked muscle. Now, I use an entire arsenal of recovery tools, including foam rollers, compression sleeves, yoga, hydration, recovery flip flops, supplements, and good ol' fashioned rest'n'relaxation! Listen to your body. Tend to its needs. It'll take you where you need to go!
I'm sure I could make a list that goes on for days if I were to recount ALL the amazing advice I've been given or "accidentally" picked up over the years! These three items are certainly some of the biggest game-changes I've put into practice, though, so hopefully by sharing my experiences, next time this question comes around someone might be writing about MY advice! But really, the best piece of advice I can give to anyone looking to start running, it would be to "just do it". You'll love what running does for you!
I'm not the only one with advice for runners though - head over to Marcia's Healthy Slice, the host of Tuesdays on the Run, for links to other running bloggers sharing the words of wisdom that have powered hundreds of miles across the pavement! You never know when you'll find the next big piece of your running puzzle...
Don't forget to share YOUR favorite piece of running advice in the comments!