Beginning to run is the worst, believe us, we know. From the lack of motivation, numerous excuses, inevitable-seeming injuries and every other hindrance in between, running seems like the wrong answer, right? Wrong! Running provides many health related benefits that physically and mentally strengthen your body. Including, and not limited to, lower levels of anxiety and stress along with a stronger and healthier body-especially your heart! Running sounds like a good idea now, right? Right! Andrew Kastor, a running coach from Mammoth Lakes, CA, has previously worked with Olympians and has some great running advice: “Tell all your friends that you’re doing a race, that way, you’ll have to answer to all the people asking about your progress.” Kastor continues to explain how telling people about your race creates a sense of accountability and forces you to stick to your goals (This is our favorite bit of advice, so don’t forget to sign up for the Ajvar 5K and tell everyone!). Along with telling people about Ajvar to motivate you, invite your friends and family to participate. Teamwork is part of the Ajvar 5K foundation and can be a part of your foundation for success, too! Below are some words of wisdom, advice and tips to ensure a successful run; but, don’t forget the number one most important piece of advice: listen to your body. Push yourself when you can but within a safe and pain-free range. Best of luck and lace up, the Ajvar 5K team encourages you, thanks you and will see you at the finish line!
We suggest you discover the best way for you to run, whether that be on a treadmill in a gym or in your basement, or outside through a neighborhood, forest or at a track, finding your running niche will make running much more enjoyable!
Attire also plays into your comfort level while running. Having appropriate attire while running is essential and one of the most important starting points for any run, especially for beginners. The wrong workout outfit may be uncomfortable and/or painful, which could deter you from wanting to continue running. Appropriate length and comfortable shorts/leggings are best for both men and women to prevent leg chafing while running. If chafing continues, Vaseline is known to alleviate friction while running. Well-fitted running shoes will make sure your feet feel like they are running on the clouds they deserve to be on! Make sure to wear socks that cover the whole foot and don’t slide down to prevent blisters. Women should wear supportive sports bras. Shirts for both men and women are up to preference.
Listen to your body. Number one advice and priority. Prior injuries should be assessed accordingly and paid attention to, especially if training creates more pain. Braces and band-aids can help some pain and injuries but if running is continuing to create injuries please stop and rest to heal.
Sore knees, ankles and shoulders are common but easily fixed by correcting your running form. For the knees and ankles make sure your sneakers aren’t worn out; support will ease knee pain and stability in the foot and ankle will prevent ankle pains. Shoulders should be relaxed and forearms bent at the elbow to form a 90º angle, following this arm posture will alleviate shoulder pain. Don’t worry, no one is perfect, not even us (!), and many may experience these simple pains but there are easy posture positions to prevent pain! If you are still experiencing pain, please stop and rest.
Cramps, side stitches and shortness of breath qualify as both uncomfortable and at times, an injury, so they are their own category. Food is our friend, but not while running. Make sure to wait an hour and a half or longer after eating and before running to prevent cramps and side stitches. Kastor explains, “When the stomach is full, it robs the abdominal lining of blood,” therefore chugging water (or other electrolyte-filled drinks to stay hydrated!) along with having a belly full of food can cause cramps and side stitches and utter discomfort while running. Shortness of breath typically comes from running too fast. Especially while starting training, you may run faster than you can keep that pace. This is why we train, to get to that fast speed while continuing to breathe!
Anymore questions? Below is a great website with a bunch of information on running. After going through it your questions about running should be answered.
We hope we helped! Check out our blog and social media accounts to stay tuned on all things Ajvar 5K and for more running tips to prepare you for the race! Thank you all again so much for registering, volunteering and donating, your help means the world to us and helps make the world a better place.