Wait, Running Doesn’t Have to Suck?
Say less. Sliding in with all the tips on how to make running easier. Getting into running can be tough at first …it’s just one of those things that honestly kinda sucks a little until you do it for a hot minute and spend that time building up your lungs, aerobic capacity, and conditioning. I ran my fair share of races and marathons in college, and friends don’t let friends suck at running – so enjoy and happy reading!
Running Tip #1: Try Not to Be A Cactus
The irony of this section is not lost on me (since I am the biggest resident cactus), but whatever. Being hella dehydrated while trying to run longer distances is pretty dang up there on the “suck” list. If you’ve ever tried to go running while slightly (or really) hungover, you most definitely know.
Sober or not, cue the side cramps and cotton mouth – two things we aren’t really striving for when we set out on a run.
General Guidelines for Hydration:
- Bodyweight in lbs / 2 = ounces in fluids per day
- Get an additional ~10-20 oz of fluids for every hour spent exercising or heavily sweating
- Don’t forget to salt your food and get in enough electrolytes so you’re actually absorbing the water you’re drinking! (we love LMNT brand!)
Running Tip #2: Eat The Fooooood
bonk – /bäNGk/ verb: to suddenly “hit a wall” during the middle of your run and struggle to continue running (see also: not fun).
Ahhh yes, the good ‘ol “crash and burn.” If you’re not eating enough carbs/calories for your activity levels, you’re gonna have a bad time.
If we’re lifting and/or running (or both) something like ~3-5x/week, remember that most active individuals likely will need a minimum of something like ~1,600 to ~2,000+ calories per day (if not substantially more). The more active we are, the more muscle we have, etc — the more we likely need to eat.
Don’t forget to get that bread (literally) and get in lots of carbs to fuel your runs. Ain’t nobody gonna fuel running for ~30-120 min endeavors and on broccoli and carrots.
Running Tip #3: Random Training = Random Results
Our Hybrid Cardio/Lift program at Paragon Training Methods is for our people who want the best of both worlds: to lift AND get sweaty/out of breath (and obviously look good while doing all of it!). Workouts take 60-75 minutes. There’s 3 lift days and 2 programmed cardio days per week. You’ll need a barbell, dumbbells, squat rack, and bench. You could also follow DB Hybrid Cardio/Lift (all you need is 2-3 pairs of dumbbells).
Notice that throughout this article we’re constantly referring to “training” rather than “working out.” There’s a reason for that. If we’re just randomly selecting a workout to complete every day, we’re not going to necessarily see much progress in our results. Working out without a proper training program focused on progressive overload can be completely counterproductive to all the effort we’re putting into our workouts every day.
By following a training program that progresses every week, we will have measurable results to build from. This will allow us to improve in the areas we’re focusing on, whether that be muscle-building, endurance-building, or any other performance-based goal.
Suppose we’re waking up every day choosing a workout that sounds “fun” or “feels good” for the day. In that case, we’re probably not going to see the results we want as efficiently as we would if we were following a disciplined program using progressive overload. Progressive overload = gradually increasing weight, frequency, or repetitions over time. This works with both strength training and endurance-based training. Ever seen a marathon training plan? Notice how the mileage increases each week… hence, progressive overload.
Running Tip #4: Maybe Don’t Run So Fast…
If newer to running, one of the most common mistakes we see is people trying to run *too quickly* at first. I made this mistake when I started training for the Chicago Marathon in 2012. I could easily run 3-4 miles and hold an 8:00-9:00 minute pace … but as I started creeping up mileage each week, I quickly found myself bonking and in a holding pattern where I’d smoke the first few miles.. and then struggle to finish runs.
Turned out if I just slowed down to something more like the a ~9:00-11:00 min/mile pace, I could run pretty endlessly with ease. Oops. Live and ya learn.
Try running at a conversational pace (meaning you could run AND easily hold a conversation while running). As your conditioning and aerobic capacity improvers over time, you can then increase your speed/pace if desired.
Running Tip #5: Control Your Breathing
Running is tough as anyone can do it.. but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re doing it right/correctly (haha). This is definitely a topic we could nerd endlessly over, so feel free to Google “breathing rhythm for runners.” But the premise is that we match our breathing to our cadence and steps.
If an easy/steady run, we might be more of a 3:3. Moderate running endeavors, maybe more of a 2:2. Quicker paces or near the end of a run, we might be more of a 2:1. A 2:2 would mean we breath in as we take 2 steps (right foot, left foot), and then breath out as we take 2 steps (right foot, left foot).
It makes sense that we likely wouldn’t be breathing as hard if running a slower pace, and mutually we’d likely be breathing quicker if going faster. Control = key.
Happy running! If you need an incredible workout program to compliment your running, we can’t recommend our Hybrid Cardio/Lift program enough!