Spotlight on running

Spotlight on running

There is nothing I love more than running. I began running when I was twelve to improve my ballet practice, and have never stopped. It is a fantastic workout, and the mental benefits are profound. It can be a hard habit to cultivate - so here are my tips for making it stick.

1. Go easy on yourself.

This was the hardest lesson for me to take on - I am competitive by nature and I am constantly striving to be better. However, just because you can run a half marathon, doesn’t mean you need to do it every second day. So many runners start, feel amazing and push it too hard, leading to injury. I did exactly that, and it resulted in not being able to walk properly for six months. These days I never let myself run for more than five miles, and if I am tired I stop. I am also not ashamed of walking if I need it.

2. Run outdoors at all times

Whenever I have run on a treadmill I find my old knee injury flares up, and I get so bored that it is hard to get my five miles in. Whenever I run outdoors I feel a surge of positive energy; nature and fresh air is so healing. It is one of my favorite things to do when in a new city, being in the streets gives you a very real perspective of the energy of a place. I like to run either early morning or late afternoon to avoid burning, but to still allow for the sun to hit your skin - allowing for that important Vitamin D synthesis. 

3. Cross train

If you want to improve your running, do it less than you would think. I find alternating strength days and HIT workouts improves my stamina for my run days - and makes the runs a lot more enjoyable. 

4. Never run two days in a row

This is to avoid overuse injuries - because that is so common for runners!

5. Stretch

Every time after you run, stretch your calves, hamstrings, quads, hips and glutes. Then get on that foam roller for your IT bands - it is the most painful experience, but tight IT bands leads to knee and ankle injuries.