On April 12th, I’ll be running in my first marathon. Am I nervous? Scared? You bet, I am. LoL Yet, I also feel more confident in my ability to finish than I did six months or so ago. I credit my confidence to the training plan I’ve followed, even though I’ve been fighting a lack of motivation.

However, we all know that a lady’s top motivator is her hair and outfit. Can I get an, Oh yeah? LOL Which brings me to the point of today’s post. I’ve put together the perfect running set, an ensemble that consists of a great pair of running shoes, pants and other vital necessities. Things I’ve learned are necessary for avoiding a wardrobe malfunction. More on that later in the post.

So what do you think?

Introducing the Running Diva

The Running Diva
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The Running Diva Dream Outfit Consists of:

  1. Avia Women’s Long Sleeve 1/4 Zip Tech Top Walmart.com
  2. Plantronics Headphones $129 by Plantronics.com

When I started training for the upcoming RockNRoll marathon, I could barely walk 2 miles, let alone consider the prospect of running 13.1 miles Geez! And this is a mere half marathon, btw. I found myself wondering who the heck does full marathons (26miles).

Anyway, I had recently recovered from surgery and was seriously out of shape. When I enlightened my family and friends to my intentions to race, I got several looks ranging from pity to enthusiasm to awe. Folks were like: “Man, you can have a heart attack, if you’re not careful.” And I was like: “Okay, thanks for the heads up. I’m only ten times more terrified now.” **sighs**

Image Credit

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However, the fighting spirit inside me kicked in. I pushed to finish those laps I walked around the mall, waving at other walkers (yes, there’s an official name for us) and smiling in silent recognition of our pain as we made our way around the hallway many times. I even made some new friends in the process. And all of them were fascinated by the woman who  was brave enough to attempt to run a marathon.

It took about 4 weeks to work up to a 2-mile mall walk in August of 2014. In September, I adopted a treadmill, using it to boost my cardio endurance. And finally, in October, I started running on the American Tobacco Trail. I adopted the Hansen Training plan and ran no less than 5 times a week with my son. I was on a roll. In January, the de-motivation factor set in. I began making excuses for missing my runs. Life made it easy to think of reasons why I could convince myself that there was no time for running.

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Yet, I was starting to see the results of my running in the way my body responded. I had more energy. Bad moods became a thing of the past, even when mom duties mounted on a daily basis. The job didn’t grate my nerves as much as usual. And get this, now! My muffin top literally disappeared. It just kind of melted away. No kidding.

In the following list, I’ve put together 10 basis tips that I’m hoping will help you begin your fitness journey. I’ll be using a few of these techniques in the upcoming weeks while I get back on track.

Here are 10 Basic Running Tips for Beginners:

  1. Drink LOTS of water. 64 oz a day is the recommended amount. I cannot stress this tip enough. People have fallen out during a marathon because of severe dehydration. Make the news for crossing the finish line and nothing else.
  2. Use a fitbit. My job provided one for me, and it has been a love-hate relationship ever since. I regularly lose it. Thank goodness for the Signal Sniffer App.
  3. Download the MapMyFitness App. It automatically uploads the details of my exercise to my Vitality website. Daily login not required. However, you’ll need either your Fitbit or a heart rate monitor to produce qualified results.
  4. On the other hand, you can download Nike Running. I actually prefer this one over MapMyFitness because it logs my indoor runs just as accurately as it does my trail ones. Plus, there’s a super cool Coach feature that will develop a training plan for you based on the type of marathon you’re planning to run. Now that’s super cool. And the Nike App is free!
  5. Do NOT wear yoga pants during your run. Wardobe malfunctions will occur. I learned this the hard way the day I ran my first trail run. I was holding my pants up the entire time. Dedicated, right? LOL Invest in a good pair of running pants. See Diva pic above for inspiration.
  6. Purchase a good pair of running shoes. You’ll need a pair for training and a pair for the real race. Numerous fitness sites have stated you should begin breaking in your marathon shoes at least 6 weeks before race.
  7. Buy a Flipbelt. It’ll hold your smartphone. I hear it even works for phablets like my Galaxy Note 4. Your hands will love you for following this advice. See above set for shopping details.
  8. Do lunges and stretching exercises BEFORE and AFTER working out. Need a good tutorial? Click here. I cannot stress how important this advice will be for you. Even if you only do a simple stretching/walking workout then that you’ll still be less likely to suffer an injury than if you hop out of the car and take off running.
  9. Find a running group. There’s nothing more motivational than talking to other folks who understand the running thing.
  10. Vary your training plan. Don’t just concentrate on running. Incorporate strength training workouts and yoga into your weekly exercise schedule. Do not push too far beyond your limits each day. Your body needs a moment to recover. If you ran 8 miles the day before then don’t hop to 12 miles on the next one.

Do you have any more running tips you’d like to share? If so, then leave a comment below.