Run Like a Girl: 9 Tips on Becoming a Great Runner

Run Like a Girl!

1. Hydrate: More important than running itself is hydration. Runners should drink a minimum of 32 ounces a day to help you from getting dizzy or light-headed. Water is the best! So drink it!

2. Stretch: Stretching prevents injury and keeps your muscles loose and ready to go. Runners should stretch every day. Before you run, you should do dynamic stretches, including high knees and toe touches to ensure your muscles are still moving and getting them ready to run. After the run, the stretches should be static, like butterfly stretches and stretches where you don’t move around as much and can be done sitting down.

3. Form: Your running form can help you become a faster and better runner! Good form means that you are pumping your arms and your legs are moving swiftly. Your arms should not be close to your chest or tight by your sides, they should be moving to the time of your legs and keep your shoulders loose. It may not seem like it, but your form will help you to loosen up your muscles and strengthen the muscles that you need to become an awesome runner!  

4. Train: It may seem obvious, but if you want to become a strong, in shape, runner you must train! Usually, runners should go on at least 3 runs a week, at a minimum. It may seem like a lot at first so if you’re just starting out, take it at your own pace, and soon enough you’ll find yourself breezing through the park! The most important part is to keep going. The third day of running is always the hardest. Lack of motivation is what stops most runners from getting past that three day hump. So, find someone to run with, get to know some runners in your community and all go together. It's a great way to make friends and to build up your training together.

5. Cross-train: If you get to a place where you’re running everyday, take at least one day a week to cross-train. Go on a swim, do some core at the gym, whatever it is, you need to give your muscles a break so they have time to heal and repair themselves. Taking breaks is just as important as going on runs. So be nice to your body and give it a day off every once in a while!

6. Watch out for Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is an acidic buildup in your muscles that can cause injury and it is what makes you feel like you can’t get out of bed the day after you ran a big race - but do it anyway! The only way to beat lactic acid is to go on a run and get it out of your system. The runs the day after a big race are the hardest because the soreness sets in. But go at a nice and easy pace, and run for a few miles - you’ll find that you feel better after the run then you did before.

7. Shin Splits: To prevent knee injury and shin splits, try running on grass, or asphalt. Pavement is unyielding to your shins and you want to keep them healthy, so if you can, integrate a run in the park with dirt or grass paths to give your knees and shins a break. They deserve it!

8. CORE: Core workouts, while seemingly terrible, are the absolute best way to become a strong, fit, and fast runner. All of your running comes directly from your core, and in order to become faster, you need to do core nearly every day after your run. Core can be skipped on days you do a hard workout, but for the most part, core is the CORE of your running! So don’t skip out! Find a good core workout site online and do those, or go to your nearest gym and see how long you can plank! Soon enough, you’ll have rock hard abs and a healthy, fast running body to show it!  

9. Finally, HAVE FUN! Running gives off endorphins that are so important for your mental and psychical health, and running can be so much fun if you can get a group and go together, or even put in your headphones and pump up the beat and go on your own. Either way, it's a great way to explore the city and to discover just how good you’ll feel by running. Runner's high, anyone?