Running Tip #1: Pace It Out

It’s Spring!   running

Let’s go for a run!

Spring is a great time to start a running program.  The birds are chirping, the air is fresh and the sun feels soooo good. There are so many reasons to jump on the running train, but I know from experience that it can also be a little overwhelming or frustrating at times.  So let’s address some of those issues first.

New  runners often  can struggle with PACE.  This means a consistent speed you plan to run, whether it is for 1 mile or 10 miles.  Most people start out running faster than they can maintain.  Even the elites have to pay close attention to that, so if you feel like you need to slow down, then DO IT!  But as a Running Coach, I have my beginner runners try to build up their pace, rather than slow down, which also builds their confidence and enjoyment of running.  Try this technique, and see how it works for you.

  • Begin by walking for about 5 minutes, or a few blocks. Look around, notice the birds, the budding flowers, the squirrels scampering around.  Smile at everyone you pass. Feel good?
  • Great!  Now that you feel loose and relaxed, bend your elbows and pump your arms a little as you move your body into a jog that is the same pace as you were walking.  You are just using different muscles, but keeping it relaxed and easy.  Keep smiling!  No, you don’t look silly or slow.  You look like a runner!
  • See that tree up ahead?  Or that sign? Or some other landmark?  Begin to jog a little faster until you reach that tree / sign/ etc.  Not so bad, right?  Then slow it back down to walking pace.  Repeat this a few times.
  • If you feel good at that faster pace, then keep it up for as long as comfortable.  You can always slow down again.
  • Each time you run, pay attention to how your body feels and how your lungs feel as you shift back and forth between these two paces.  Are you out of breath?  That is too fast.  Are your shoulders tight and high?  Relax them, lifting your chin and letting your arms swing easily.  If you can master the art of body awareness you will be ahead of most runners and more likely to enjoy running, keeping yourself healthy and injury-free.

Many of the principles of YOGA can be utilized to help runners of all levels improve their performance.  Yoga for Runners programs are yoga sessions brought to your running group to help all runners feel loose, calm, and strong.  Click HERE for more information or to schedule yoga for you and your runner friends.

See you on the path!

~Molly