I don’t run... like, ever. My worst fear growing up wasn’t bullies or that I’d wear the wrong thing, but that I would have to run at P.E. But to entertain my lovely co-workers, I’ve agreed to face my fears and run with them. We haven’t chosen a race, but it’s in the near future, and I can feel my anxiety levels rising by the minute. Remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe and Rachel are running in the park? Well, I’ll be the Phoebe of the group.
When I was in high school, I had a crush on the top runner in our school (oh, irony). I told him about my not-so-impressive running abilities. He laughed and asked if my dad ran around the neighborhood holding a doughnut in front of my face when I was training for the, eh, mile run. Needless to say, he wasn’t helpful.
However, it seems I can’t get away from those all-star athletes, so I turned to my former-body-building-champ/current-chiropractor boyfriend for advice on how to prepare. He was more accommodating than my doughnut-taunting crush and has alleviated my worries with some great tips.
Consume adequate protein. Pre- and post-run, you want to build and rebuild your muscles to improve recovery time and muscle development. My favorite go-to snack that packs in the protein is as simple as it comes—hard-boiled eggs. You can boil as many as you’d like at the beginning of the week so you can grab them whenever you need that protein boost.
Use carbs for fuel. Not all carbs are created equally, and choosing a sustainable, energy-filled fuel can keep you going strong through the end of the run. I love choosing a pasta dish and then swapping out the regular noodles for quinoa noodles. Protein + carb = jackpot!
Gear up. Choosing the right shoe for your feet is of utmost importance. Whether you're flat-footed or have a bit of an arch, you'd be wise to seek out a professional to help assist in your shoe choice. You don’t want to end up with blisters or a strain. Some employees will even watch you run to make the most accurate choice. (Uh… can we skip that part?)
Hold yourself accountable. I work well with schedules. If I write down my to-do list, I’m 10 times more likely to finish it than if I just have the tasks floating around in my head. Designating times to run helps keep me on track. Once we choose the race, I’ll have its date in mind, and there will be no room for slacking because it’s coming whether I like it or not.
Take time to recover. My favorite recovery method is as simple as it gets—an Epsom salt bath. It’s an inexpensive way to naturally rid the body of pain and soothe sore muscles. All you need is some hot water, a cup or so of Epsom salt, and some Michael Bublé tunes, of course.
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