Guest Blog: Maggie’s Running Tips

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Hi readers of Carrots ‘N’ Cake! My name is Maggie and I’m a big fan of Tina’s blog. I’ve been following almost since the beginning. Tina is one of the many wonderful bloggers that inspired me to start my own- Say Yes to Salad– where I post recipes, my daily eats, reviews of my favorite exercises, and other health-related fun things. This guest post is going to be focused on one of my new favorite activities – running.

I was never a runner (and I’m still just a beginner) until a few months ago. Every time that I tried it I just wanted to stop after about half a mile – or less. Sometimes I would be too tired, sometimes I was bored, and sometimes I just didn’t feel like it. But here are some tips that I think helped me learn to enjoy it…

1. Start with walking! Walking and running offer many of the same benefits, and adding a daily 20-minute walk to your routine isn’t that big of a sacrifice. I started walking on my lunch hour. First I would walk for 30 minutes, then I started walking for the full hour. This meant eating at my desk, but it was worth it.

2. One day when you are walking you might feel this crazy urge to run – give in to it if you can! This happened to me on one of my lunch walks and I just started running. I’ll admit, I was a little sweaty when I returned to the office, but I was able to run for 10 minutes with no trouble at all – a big step for someone who usually can’t go more than 5 minutes. When I was home that weekend I tried to trick myself into running again. I started walking outside, and after about a minute of brisk walking I got the running urge again – and I went for 3 miles! I think this was the longest I ever ran without stopping, and it happened out of the blue. I credit it to my daily walks (1 hour = 3.5 miles or so). I’d been doing them for several months at this point.

3. Interval training really really helps with endurance. I started doing Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred videos and the distance/time that I could run increased immediately. It helps if you can imagine Jillian’s voice telling you to not give up and to keep going too!

4. Stretch afterwards! Sometimes people don’t like running because they feel sore and miserable the next day. If you stretch afterwards you can really minimize soreness.

5. Even better than stretching… Yoga! If you can squeeze in 20-minutes of yoga after a run you will probably feel amazing. For me, yoga and running go hand in hand. There are some great 20-minute mp3 downloads at yogadownload.com if you need a starting point. They even have something called “Runners’ Yoga”.

6. Listen to your body. If you have serious pain, don’t continue! Figure out what’s going wrong. I got major knee pains after my first week of training and it turned out that I needed new sneakers and a knee brace (I have weak knees to begin with – very prone to dislocating). You should NOT run in old, worn out sneakers. This will not help you love running because you will just be in pain all the time! If you get side cramps while you’re running, you might want to try breathing slowly and deeply as you run.

7. Use Google and other resources. When I had knee pains, I googled it and came up with a bunch of different reasons that they could be happening. Then I went to Sports Authority and bugged the heck out of the salesperson, who luckily was a marathon runner – he had great advice. Use any resource you can for advice and information.

8. Just have fun. If you can only run a half mile, only run a half mile! Walk some, and then try again. Any time you can dedicate to running is great. Becoming a runner doesn’t happen overnight (and I still don’t know if I can call myself one).

9. Lastly, you don’t have to run every day. And you shouldn’t – we all need rest days. At this point I still do my daily walking (1 hour) and try to fit in one or two 3-4 mile runs during the week. Baby steps are great.

Feel free to contact me with any further questions or feedback – I’m still a beginner and I would love to hear your thoughts! My email is magpie707 (at) gmail (dot) com, or you can leave a comment on my blog and I will respond as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!

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32 Comments

  1. Awesome! I agree with your points and can totally relate to a lot of your story. I try to approach my running the same way I approach my food- it’s all about listening to your body! sometimes it says “keep running!” and other times it says “you need to stop and take a break!”

    I’ll def stop by and check out more of your blog!

  2. Tina, I made the Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies today (randomly had all the ingredients on hand) and they were AMAZING! The girls in my apartment are lovin’ on em too and I’ve already given the recipe to three of them 🙂

  3. These are some great tips for beginners! My only addition would be to have a running buddy – not only are you safer when you’re out on your own, but it’s fun to have another person motivating you (or a person to motivate!) and talk to. A lot of running clubs have “walkers” meetings as well, which are a perfect place to find others in the early stages of walking-with-running-interspersed.

    Thanks for posting Maggie!

  4. great tips! except for number 7… well, google is all well and good, but go to a doctor!! someone else’s problems may not be the same, no matter how similar they may sound!

  5. Thank you for the running tips! I have never been very into running, but I have to give it credit for being the only sport you can do all the time, no strings attached, even in most weather. I will only run if it’s 40 degrees or above, though, because I have slight asthma at times. I ran this morning and it felt so good!

  6. This was posted at a great time – I slacked on running during January and now I’m trying to get back into it and it’s SO HARD. I have no energy, no motivation, side cramps, etc. I going to take your advice and run as much as I can and keep going until I get my energy back.

  7. Thanks for this Maggie! I am just getting into running myself. Right now I only do the treadmill because I hate cold temperatures, but as soon as it is warm enough to run outside in NY (without a jacket!) I will make my first attempts! I am excited and also nervous, so this post really helped!

  8. SUPER Guest Post! 🙂 I SOOOOOOOOOOO agree with the stretching part, in fact I now look forward to it because I see the benefits immediately AND the next day!

  9. Such a great guest post! Maggie, I’m experimenting with running + yoga too (not quite at your yoga level yet 😉 ) and I think it’s a great combination!

  10. Two words. Runner’s World. Well…actually runnersworld.com. The forums there are AMAZING…They can answer all your questions and you will find an AMAZING group of friends.

    WOOT for running!!!!

  11. Thanks for this post!! I was actually considering if I should add the 30 day shred into my 10miler training (race is April 5) and I think I will!!!! I def would like to increase my time & endurance!

  12. Great tips Maggie! I feel like I did the same thing when I started running years ago. Now that I am back at the beginning to get where I was as a ‘runner’ I need to remind myself of these tips and that it does take time.

  13. Awesome tips! This helps me, I want to become a runner! Right now I can only run 1:18 without stopping 🙁 I am trying to at least run 5 mins! Its tough when you’ve never been a runner!!

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