For the Beginner Runner–Guest Post by Jen, The Marathon Mom

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Today’s post comes from Jen, The Marathon Mom.  Jen is a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon.  If you have never thought about a running coach or trainer, I highly suggest you do!  Jen is a wealth of knowledge, and she can get you where you want to be in the running game! 

Jen

I think I am asked at least daily for running advice whether it be from those wanting to start running or those wanting to improve. Recently I’ve had many questions from friends and family training for their first races. I love sharing my passion for running and hope I can pass this on to others too. I thought about the most frequent questions I am asked and decided to put together a list,

When do I start to like running? I think this is the most frequent question and I always hate to say “there are some days I still hate running!” For me the key is to take it easy some days and push myself other days, enjoy the surroundings while out and savor the victories whether this is running that 1st mile or a PR. Like anything new it takes work and does get easier, I still remember when 3 miles was a chore and now I can’t remember the last time I wanted to stop after 3 miles.

Along the same lines: When does it get easier? Everyone is different, but you need to listen to your body and not feel that you need to push right away or on every run. Like I said above it is something new and will get better. Remember it took us more than 1 step to learn to walk.

How do I motivate myself? Sign up for a race to have a goal and soak in the excitement of the race atmosphere. Find friends or a group to run with, making that commitment to others is motivation to get started and it is always nice to have company in tough times to push us further, then go out for coffee afterwards. Listen to music, buy new running clothes and enjoy the fact that you will feel better and have more energy.

What happens when I skip a run? Listen to your body and if you aren’t feeling it, having pain or need a short break then don’t run. Missing one run of the training will not hurt you, do not make this a routine but don’t be afraid to rest a sore leg, sleep in when you are sick or shorten a run. If something doesn’t feel right and your stride changes then don’t run through it, do something else (swim, bike, elliptical) and see how it feels later.

And finally don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Compete and push yourself to improve while accepting that things happen, life gets in the way and we all have bad days. Learn from these and work through them. Remember we are all different and can’t compare ourselves to someone with different talents and abilities. Work to improve on what you can do and have done, not what others can do.

How do you find time to run as a mom? Before I was a mom I was told so many times “just wait you will stop running.” That didn’t happen and I knew it wouldn’t. It takes time management and some compromise. I often workout early in the morning (4am during the week), take advantage of nap time and hit the treadmill at home or the gym childcare is a great benefit. Take the kid with you running, for us it was the only way I was guaranteed a nap the 1st year! But now we look at animals, stop at the park and I get a complete workout. We schedule long runs, sometimes splitting days and other times splitting BOB duty. I might sacrifice an extra hour of sleep or time to read or clean the house for a run, but it makes me a better mother and everyone is much happier.

What are the best shoes? Don’t buy what is cute or the brand your friend has. Go to a running store for a proper shoe fitting and don’t be afraid to take them back if they don’t work after a run (most stores around here are fine if they are slightly worn). Please don’t wear that pair of shoes you bought 5 years ago for step class. Most complaints I hear from new runners is that their legs, knees, feet hurt and then I find out they are wearing bad shoes, such a simple solution to prevent frustration.

I have been running about 10 years and was instantly hooked. I have come a long way from those first steps and my first marathon (Disney 2003) where I finished 5:20 to consistently running 3:30 marathons and running competitively. I learned to love the sport and train right. I have coached runners of all abilities for the past 5 years and love it! I am a RRCA certified run coach and NASM certified personal trainer working with both in person and virtually training clients of all levels to complete their first 5K or set a PR at a marathon.

Check out my running, food, and parenting adventures at:

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6 thoughts on “For the Beginner Runner–Guest Post by Jen, The Marathon Mom

  1. comebackmommajenn

    I agree that we can’t compare ourselves to others. I just recently started running again after a LONG break from the sport. Just today, I ran a PR for 4 miles in 41:42. That may be slow for some, but burning it up for me. 😉

    Reply
  2. comebackmommajenn

    I especially like the tip that we should not compare ourselves to anyone else. I ran a personal best 4 miler today in 41:42. That may be slow for some, but burning it up for me. 😉

    Reply
    1. fromfltond Post author

      It is a great tip. I can get caught up in even comparing myself to my past self. I need to just focus on myself and be proud of what I’m doing 🙂

      Reply
  3. Laurie

    I love the tip for moms who want to run or workout! I need to make time for myself to do something that will make me a better person. Thank you Jen 🙂

    Reply

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