This post brought to you by lululemon + ShopStyle. All opinions are 100% my own!
Happy Thursday, guys!
I’m excited to be teaming up with lululemon again for another summer workout blog post–and this time, we have a special guest! I love an excuse to get outside and run outdoors in the summer, but I’m not exactly an expert on the topic–I often get workout related questions here on the blog I don’t exactly feel qualified to answer, so I invited my friend Teri of A Foodie Stays Fit to share some of her best running tips for beginners today.
Honestly, I LOVE following Teri on Instagram for all of her healthy lifestyle tips, not to mention–she’s just really normal, adorable and down to earth. I know you guys will love following her, too!
She’s racked up quite the impressive “race resume” if you will–she’s been running for 20 years! So, you could say, she is most DEFINITELY qualified to give us all the running pointers and has definitely inspired me to get back into running more often! (Selfishly, I also just wanted her tips to make me better at running as well. ?)
Additionally, we’ll both be sharing our personal favorites from lululemon (which happens to be one of her favorite brands as well!) and which of their staples to add to your rotation if you are in the market for new running or workout clothes!
Teri is the cutest! Follow her on IG at @AFoodieStaysFit!
Hiii Teri! Welcome! I’m so excited to have you on the blog today, can you tell the GG fam a little bit about yourself?
I am so happy to be a guest on The Golden Girl today! I’m Teri and I blog over at A Foodie Stays Fit. I write about beauty, healthy eating, and workouts, and I especially love sharing about running.
I’ve been running for 20 years (CRAZY), and I vividly remember the first time I ran more than 5 miles – I was 15. Since then, I’ve run over 50 races, including four marathons, three 24-hour relay races, 20 half marathons and countless 5Ks and 10Ks.
Today I’m sharing five tips for new runners. I hope you find it helpful whether you’ve never run a mile or are inspired to dust off your running shoes and get back out there after a break.
What are some of the biggest reasons you love running so much? Any surprising benefits?
First, I think it’s important to know that not even the most running-obsessed people love every run. There are days where it feels miserable — case in point: the humid NC weather is brutal right now. Other mornings, I just don’t feel like getting out there and procrastinate the heck out of my run.
But I love the process of running and what it brings to my life as a whole. Running is an amazing outlet to process emotions. It’s when I do my best brainstorming for my business. It’s how I solve problems. And sometimes, it’s the best way to zone out with a good playlist. I also love the competition with myself and seeing how I can improve over time.
My advice to runners and those who want to get into running: think about why you want to run. What do you hope it will bring to your life? If you’ve run a bit, what do you love about it? Keep that the focus — not your pace, not your mileage — especially on the hard days.
I know this is a loaded question–but if you could only share a handful of beginning tips for runners, what would they be?
Sure! Let’s jump in. I hope you find these tips helpful whether you’ve never run a mile or are inspired to dust off your running shoes and get back out there after a break!
Teri’s Running Tips for Beginners:
Teri’s Tip # 1: Wear the right gear:
Aside from getting the right shoes (I recommend heading to a specialty running store so they can analyze your running and recommend shoes for your individual needs!) it is SO important to wear clothes that are made for sweat. You will quickly find out why paying a little extra for a sweat-wicking shirt and synthetic socks are worth the extra dough (versus using an old cotton t-shirt and cotton socks you have lying around).
Here’s why: Wicking material helps keep you cool and won’t get weighed down with sweat (trust me, a soaked cotton t-shirt will feel heavy and you’ll be way hotter or colder than necessary). Wicking material also helps prevent chafing and blisters.
Most of my personal go-to’s are from lululemon since they’re flattering, fit and perform well, and last for YEARS. It’s worth paying a little extra to get high-quality items. I’ll share a few of mine below, and I know Jess has some of her own too!
Teri’s lululemon Must-Haves:
Fast and Free 7/8 Tights: They’re lightweight enough for warmer days but also got me through all my cold runs during the winter. I also love the pocket at the back of the waistband to hold my phone – it doesn’t bounce AT ALL. (Jess’ note: These are also my favorite running pants! You saw me review them in this post earlier this year!)
Speed Up shorts: I have 7 pairs of these since they are super lightweight and don’t hold sweat. And they also never develop a funky smell, even after years of stinky, sweaty running. I have both the 2.5” and the 4” inseam and go back and forth, depending on how much leg I want to show on any given day. (Jess’ note: the 4″ Speed Up shorts are what I’m wearing here–and no, Teri didn’t even know that when she rounded up her favorites! ?)
Now ladies, let’s talk about sports bras. You are going to want something that is snug and supportive — but not breath-taking in the literal sense. I LOVE the Lululemon Long Line Energy Bra, so much so that I ran the Boston Marathon in it. (I’m a 32C and find it has the perfect amount of support.) Jess’ note: The Long Line Energy Bra is also my favorite sports bra! I reviewed it in this post!
More lulu favorites: What Jess is Wearing here:
Passing it back to Jess for a minute to share more details on her lulu staples she’s wearing in this post!
Breeze short sleeve tee: I accidentally ordered two of these tees by mistake, but I decided to keep both of them because it has become my #1 favorite workout top! Not that I don’t love tanks, but sometimes you just want a little bit more coverage, you know? I love that this is basically nothing–you can pull it on over your sports bra and it is SO breathable. I obviously went with white because it just goes with everything, but it comes in a bunch of colors as well!
Sizing: I ordered a size 6, which is my size in normal lululemon items, but I think this top runs a little big for lulu–but I’m glad I got it a little oversized, so I can tie it in a knot–which looks cute while being functional at the same time!
Speed Up 4″ shorts: Like Teri mentioned above–these shorts basically just feel like air! I love all the colors they come in right now, and that they have both a hidden front pocket and a back waistband pocket. The shorts are medium rise, and they come in two lengths–2.5″ and 4″–the latter of which I’m wearing here.
Sizing: I’m wearing a 4 here, which is my usual lululemon size, but I wish I would’ve gone up to a 6!
Teri’s Tip #2: Fuel Up!
Try to eat something with carbs at least 45 minutes before you head out for a run. Aim for about 200 calories but if your stomach is especially sensitive, you may want to choose a snack with a little less.
As you get in the habit of eating before runs, it will get easier to increase the calories. Most importantly, listen to your body – you know it better than anyone! Here are some ideas for a pre-run snack (you want to make sure it’s something that will digest quickly!):
Pre-run snacks that will digest quickly:
- Banana + peanut butter
- Dates + almond butter
- Handful of raisins
- Unsweetened applesauce
- A spoonful of honey
If you’re going for a long run (longer than 45 minutes) you’ll want to take a few dates or gel packets for mid-run, but for shorter runs you should be just fine.
When you finish your fun, you’ll need to refuel with a mixture of carbs and protein. A good option is two pieces of toast with some scrambled eggs, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich works great, too! And I love a post-run smoothie in the summer – this mint chocolate chip smoothie is my go-to lately.
Teri’s Tip #3: How to start running: run walk!
Now that you’ve got the right gear, are laced up in the right shoes, and ate a quick snack, it’s time to get to it. When getting started, I recommend you start slow and keep it easy. Keep your focus on time, not distance or speed. And remember, it’s okay to walk!
In the beginning, focus on a run/walk ratio and then work to improve that ratio.
- Start with 1 minute of running, 2 minutes of walking on your first run.
- Once you feel comfortable doing this for 15 minutes, work up to 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.
- Then progress to 3 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.
You get the picture. The goal is to gradually make your periods of running longer than your periods of walking.
And remember, it’s always okay to walk! It’s still a “run” if you take walk breaks. In the summer months, when it’s super hot and humid, I take 3-5 walk breaks during my run. (Read my tips for summer running here!)
Teri’s Tip #4: Don’t Skip Recovery!
Run and done! Good work! Now it’s time to recover.
Recovery is one of those things that I pretty much ignored until I hit my 30s and suddenly my body DEMANDED it. Recovery is key to running happy and healthy and keeping injuries at bay.
There are four main areas of recovery that I focus on each week:
Stretching & Mobility
Lengthening your muscles and working out tight kinks will keep you moving fluidly. And moving fluidly is so important to keep your gait natural and injuries at bay. Stretching for even 5-10 minutes after every run will make a difference.
After I finish my run, I start my watch again to time myself stretching for 5 minutes. This helps because even when I’m tempted to skip stretching because I’m in a hurry, it helps me realize just how short 5 minutes is. Other days, I’ll spend five minutes on a foam roller post-run.
We’re talking 7-9 hours a night. I know, 9 hours is probably unrealistic but definitely do not skimp. So much research now shows that the best tool to recover isn’t a tool at all – it’s solid shuteye. (Jess’ note: Also, this isn’t just for running, but for LIFE! You can’t be good at anything when you’re tired!)
Rest includes not overdoing it with workouts, both with running and with cross-training. Cross-training is fine (and a good thing to keep you strong!), but you need to make sure you’re letting your body recover when it’s needs to.
So, don’t do a long hard run one day, a killer Crossfit class the next, and an intense bootcamp the next. My cross-training days typically involve a short spin session (e.g. 20 minutes) followed by some strength work!
Fuel, Hydration, and everything in moderation!
Everything that goes in your body impacts your training. Junk food = junk miles (and this goes for junk drinks too). No, I don’t eat a perfect dietand I don’t completely eschew alcohol. I follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time, I eat healthy, real food. 20% of the time, I just live life and don’t worry about it. And I eat dark chocolate with peanut butter nearly every afternoon. ☺
Teri’s Tip #5: Stay Motivated (and listen to great playlists!)
One of the best ways for me to stay motivated is to set a goal, run with friends (Jess’ note: You can look up a lululemon running club in your area with the Strava app if you need running buddies!), and to remember why I love running in the first place. But one of the best ways to really get in the zone? Music!
I run with music about 50% of the time. If I am with friends or need to stay focused for a workout, that’s when I run without. I have a few playlists that I love to run to and they always help get me out the door and keep going when I’m just not feeling it.
I know, I am very clever with playlist names. This is my go-to and a little less main-stream.
This one has 21 songs and 1 hour 15 minutes of music! It’s a good mix of mainstream music plus some lesser-known bands. I used this for the majority of my Boston Marathon training runs this year!
This playlist has FOUR HOURS of music and it’s what I used during my training for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. It has a good mix of upbeat and some “zone out” songs. And it’s long enough to get you through very long runs.
(1 hour, 44 minutes) Sometimes, I just can’t deal with pop. So, being the creative person I am, I created the cleverly named Not Pop Workout Music playlist. These songs still have a great beat but you won’t find any Kesha or Rihanna on here. It’s a good playlist for easy runs when I want to zone out. But ironically, I often find I run faster to this playlist than the others.
(7 hours of music!!) This is a really random assortment of songs. Basically, it’s my catch-all playlist whenever I hear a song I like–this is a great playlist for easy runs!
Thanks SO much Teri for sharing all your amazing tips! I hope now you guys are feeling ready to run! How can readers best keep in touch with you?
I hope you’ll connect with me on Instagram @afoodiestaysfit and tag me in your pre and post-run photos so I can see how you’re doing! Use the hashtag #AFSFrunning so I can keep up with you and run with you virtually. And you can get a LOT more advice for getting starting, staying motivated and running happy in my Running 101 eBook. Find it here.
And also, thanks so much to lululemon–not just my favorite, but running pro approved ?– for sponsoring this post! All opinions are 100% my own (as well as Teri’s!) and thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going!
Shop our lululemon favorites in the widget below: