Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

I may not be much faster than I was when I started this whole running, triathlon, etc journey several years ago, but I certainly am much smarter. Here are are a just few things I've learned that I wish I had known from the beginning.

  • Listen to your body. - It's not a sign of weakness to skip a workout when you are sick or injure. It's the smart thing to do. Running when you are truly ill won't help you recover. Nor will running on an injury. Many times it makes it worse. Take a few days off and let your body recover, it's worth it in the long term.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! - All year round, and especially in the summer, it is important to stay hydrated. Athlete's lose hydration when they sweat. It's important to replace those fluids (and salt) otherwise you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, fainting, puking, or muscle cramping. Trust me, it's not fun.
  • Track the miles on your shoes - When I first started running, I figured a pair of running shoes should last a year. Sure, it made sense to me back then, but shoes don't break down based on time, they break down based on mileage. Running on worn out shoes leads to injury. I like to change mine out at about 400 miles, but that depends on the shoe.
  • Socks matter - When I started running, I ran in loose cotton socks. This led to blisters. I've learned that running in the correct socks is important. You don't need to spend a lot on socks (I've been very happy with socks found at Target), but you do need to wear some made from a wicking material (I like coolmax) that fit your feet snugly. I've also found that I'm fond of injinji socks when cycling.
  • Be comfortable when you run - A few ladies have asked me which is better for summer: Shorts, Skirts, or tri shorts? Tank tops, t-shirts, or athletic tops? And my running friend who is beginning to train for triathlon wants to know what's best to wear to the pool. The answer is "you tell me!" When I started on this journey, I thought there was one right answer. I saw a lot of women in form fitting athletic tops and running shorts, so that's what I wore. Over time I've learned that whatever is most comfortable for each individual is the right answer. And I've learned that for me, the better answer is loose tank tops and skirts.
Those are just a few things that I've learned the hard way over the years. What would you add to the list?


  1. All great advice! I'm still not great at tracking mileage on my shoes.

  2. Awesome!
    What I've learned:
    Only I think I am slow..the group I run with could care less so quit dwelling on it.

    During a long run, EAT! I GU over a 1/2 marathon (for me) doesn't work so experiment on your training runs. Bonking sucks.

    BodyGlide everything and if you think you may have missed a spot...check before you get in the shower. :)

  3. sunscreen! :-) keeps the body cool!

  4. Excellent words of wisdom. When I look back on those days when I first started running, it's amazing how clueless I was. :)

  5. Excellent words of wisdom. When I look back on those days when I first started running, it's amazing how clueless I was. :)

  6. Log those miles. As we get older, we tend to forget but with a log it's easy to track when things start going awry.....

  7. Wear a swim suit that keeps your breasts in the suit.

  8. I agree with everything, thanks for sharing

  9. Such a great list! I would add keep track of your training so you can see what works best and be inspired by your accomplishments and that nutrition is important. I can't run on empty.

  10. Now we have two cats down for the pills and one to go. Your cats and mine must be similar. I am going to pick up some of the pill pockets that were suggested.

    I would add don't worry about having a friend to run with. If you do it is gravy but plan to workout no matter what or who you are doing it with.

  11. I especially love the "listen to your body" one! Mine would be "no-one is looking at you"

  12. all soooo true and man why is it we have to learn so many of these things the hard way

  13. Wise list, I agree 100%.
    For the list:
    - don't forget the stretching;
    - update your logbook to understand when and why the things go wrong.

  14. Thanks for sharing.
    I will eat something before a long run and never put diet Coke into your handheld bottle. Yeah... You can trust me on that!