Additional advice/tips for aspiring runners


Haeleigh Bayle, Editor

If you have not already read the first article of advice for new and aspiring runners, click here to get some basic beginning advice.

In the last article we talked about how it is important to start out running lightly and gradually work up to greater mileages, keep a positive attitude on your running journey, and the importance of consistency in running. In this article we will talk about the importance of diet, hydration, and running attire (like shoes).

To begin, my first piece of advice for new runners is to clean up your diet if you have not already. In order to get good times and feel as good as possible when running, you need to make sure you have the right nutrition being put into your body. If you are someone who eats fast food quite frequently and are trying to run to stay in shape, you’re making it really hard on yourself to succeed. I would advise you decrease the number of days a week you eat fast food or takeout and try to substitute in salads, rice with your choice of cooked veggies and a meat, smoothies, and other home-cooked meals that help reduce the sodium and fat intake. Eating too much “junk food” is also a major problem for some runners; things like chips, fruit gummies, chocolate, ice cream, and other non-essential foods may prove to be harmful to runners. There are some runners, however, who canĀ handle eating foods like this and still end up running fine. This does not mean they should eat like this, though. It is almost vital that fruits high in natural carbohydrates are consumed because many people say a runner’s best friend are their carbs (both natural and the carbs you get in noodles or bread). Cleaning up your diet does not mean completely stripping yourself of take-out, junk food, and big greasy burgers, it just means eating foods such as that moderately. So essentially, if you are trying to see a major difference in your running you need to make sure you are eating a rather clean diet with a lot of nutritious foods that will help increase energy.

The next tip I have is to make sure you are always staying hydrated. Hydration is one of the most important things when it comes to running. Nothing except water (and occassionally a Gatorade, Pedialyte, or a Liquid I.V.) will keep you hydrated enough for running. Without the appropriate amount of water, your body cannot function at its finest and you’ll find yourself possibly getting muscle cramps, headaches, nausea, and extreme fatigue, not to mention an extraordinarily dry mouth. Hydrating should be happening all of the time, however, the three days leading up to a race, it is most important. This means you need to be drinking extra water than you normally would in order to prepare your body for the upcoming race.

The final tip for runners is to make sure you have proper foot wear and running attire. It isn’t too hard to get the proper running attire for clothes, especially since all of us are bound to have at least a couple pairs of sweats in our closets. Finding the right running shoe is extremely important with running because each of us have different forms and have different feet shapes. For me, I need more support in my shoe and I need it to have a lot of extra cushion to help with my shin splints. My biggest suggestion for finding the proper running shoe is to go to a sports store like Achilles and have a trained worker get you the proper shoe for your foot.

If you are an aspiring runner, hopefully this article is full of the advice you need and are looking for. Running is something anyone can do, all it takes is a little work and dedication to get into, but then it will prove to be a fantastic way to get/stay in shape. If you want to start running but aren’t sure how, don’t overthink it, just go do it!