I’ve been running lately. It’s always news when I start running, as I’ve been known to say things like, “I’m not a runner!” and “I really don’t like running!” and the like. But I’m training for a distance event (more on that coming up!), so these running tips couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m mentally committing these tips to memory, thanks to Lolë’s professional Running Ambassador Leanne Shear. As co-founder of Uplift, a women-only fitness studio in New York City, author, personal trainer and 3:29 marathoner, Shear has the inside scoop on the best gear, nutrition and training methods. So if you’re looking to kick off a love affair with running this fall like me, read on!
5 Running Tips for the Fall
1. Don’t be intimidated. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned racer, Shear knows that in athletics, like in life, those big hills and challenging moments are daunting. Instead of dreading the trial, Shear offers this helpful advice. “When you get to a big hill, don’t panic,” she says. “This too shall pass. To make it easier, shorten your stride considerably, and make quicker, choppier steps, while pumping your arms (and keeping your shoulders relaxed) to help propel you up and over. Don’t forget to ‘pop the top.’ In other words, don’t slow down and start dragging your feet when the top is in sight. Continue powerfully over the hill and then dial back to head down the back end.”
2. Carb load, schmarb load. Carb loading the night before a race really isn’t necessary and in fact has been proven somewhat ineffective, especially for women, Shear says. In lieu of that, eat a healthy dinner and then a solid breakfast, including a good fat (like nut butter), protein and good carbs (like brown rice or sweet potato). Right before a run, she recommends either a small handful of almonds or “if you need more fuel, try the good carb, good fat, plus protein combo, for example, a whole-wheat English muffin with almond butter and banana. And of course, lots of water is essential to good performance to keep muscles hydrated.”
3. Recover. For some of us runners, stretching and yoga is an afterthought at best. To recover from a tough workout, Shear recommends stretching and yoga. Flexibility will definitely make you a better runner, she says.
4. Get the gear. Buy a pair of shoes that optimize your personal comfort. “Sneakers are very specific to each individual and body type,” she says. “If possible, go get your gait analyzed by professionals at a local running or sporting goods store and test a few pairs out and see where things land.”
5. Take care of the hair … and other fun running necessities. When it comes to must-have running wear, Shear loves lightweight leggings and says a great tank top are key pieces. She loves Lolë’s Run Capri, with breathable mesh inserts to keep you dry, plus a convenient zip pocket for keys. Their Central Tank Top is made for running and has an iPod pocket built in. Another way Shear gets ready to run is by getting every last piece of hair out of her face, she says. We can relate! Shear likes to secure her ponytail with a Lolë headband because it “has subtle rubber grip to mitigate sliding, and it also isn’t too tight, which tends to be a problem with other bands.”
Thanks for the great tips, Leanne! I know when I see a hill I tend to do a hard swallow, so it’s nice to have a plan of action for the next one!
What’s your best running tip for newbies? —Erin