Ways to Make Running Easier

Kyra Lipetzky

With college just around the corner and as a senior in high school, I want to make sure that I’ve established manageable and healthy habits before I officially go out into the world on my own. Seeing that these have been working for me, especially with the help of those around me, I figured that I would share what I have learned in case someone else found it helpful too!

I’ve never been one for running, have disliked it for the majority of my life, yet after a few weeks of implementing it into my daily routine, I can finally say that I actually enjoy the process. I’ve set a route to be half of a mile away from my house so that if I go there and back, it will add up to be a mile. One of the best things to do for yourself is to set a good pace that you can manage throughout the length of the route. In order to build up to this, I would run as much as I could to the halfway point, then walk the second half on my way back home. Each day afterwards, I would try to run a little more, walk a little less, until I was able to run the whole stretch. Mind you, your pace doesn’t have to be fast, it just needs to be manageable – mine is mostly a jog. This creates a base speed: one that you can slow down to while going up a hill, or speed up from when there’s a straight away. Whenever you’re going downhill, that’s where you can simply book it, it’s free energy after all!

When you’re running, keep your shoulders back and head facing upwards rather than looking at your feet. What this does is allow you to breathe easier and more smoothly since you aren’t restricting your airway. The goal is to keep the oxygen cycling, so don’t have a big pause after an exhale or inhale and you should be breathing through your mouth more than your nose, you can take in more oxygen that way.

What you eat determines how you feel, and the biggest help is to set definite meals and stop grazing throughout the day. It’s also important to drink water as much as possible throughout the day, it’ll help you prevent cramping and keep you from feeling under the weather. It’s always good to stretch before you do anything physical, warm up your muscles beforehand, but also once you’re done be sure to go for a cool down walk or stretch as well. If you’ve just finished exercising, don’t sit down immediately after. This will help you avoid any potential cramping, and eating something with potassium after any form of exercise will also prevent it. My personal favorite is to go for a banana and some peanut butter.

The most important thing to note is, do not start off with the belief that you will not do well. Encourage yourself through some pump up music or a supportive friend, you will do significantly better, and be happier too. If you believe that you can do it, chances are you will get closer to your end goal each time you put on your shoes.