I consider running as a new, serious hobby for me, since I’ve been doing it for only 2 years. However, through out my journey, there were some things that I wished I told myself 2 years ago, such as:
1. Read, research, don’t be afraid to ask questions
This book should be in every runner’s library!
Running – a simple act of putting one feet in front of the next, yet it has been heavily researched with many school of thoughts about training, form, style of running, and culture. In short, there is no clear, definitive line dividing between what’s wrong or right in the world of running. So read up and do some researches to verify what you read, because there is always something new to learn everyday.
2. Invest in the right gear
What you wear is equally important as what you put on your feet
A good pair of shoes is the most important gear for every runner. I wish that 2 years ago, I took my time to search for the right shoe to save myself from the infamous runner’s black toenail and provide the right support for my foot arch. Arguably, the 2nd most important thing for me is my hijab. Thankfully, I discovered Nashata’s range of sportswear early in my running career. Thanks to Nashata, my hijab is never an excuse or a disadvantage to my performance in any sports.
3. Take your time to train, but be committed
It’s your own race, so run at your own pace
I took up running as a serious hobby with one goal in mind: Complete the full marathon distance of 42km. So for the first 2 years of my running career, I was relentlessly chasing the mileage until my knees were starting to hurt and it took me longer to recover from a common cold. I was going too fast until I burnt out. However, if I did not set a deadline for myself, I might end up losing focus or get demotivated easily. Looking back, I realised that I should have balanced my trainings better so I am consistently training with smaller increments in mileage.
4. Cross-train, cross-train, cross-train
Stronger muscles = less injury
As stated in No. 3, I was caught up in a relentless pursuit to clock in enough mileage until I was too exhausted to cross-train. My muscles became weak, my upper body and core were not toned. If I could turn back time, I would have told myself that it’s ok to lift weights once in a while, or do some yoga to stretch out those sore muscles. Click here to read on why runners should cross-train.
5. There is more to running besides just running
Some wonderful people I met through out my running journey
The running community in Malaysia is filled with people with many backgrounds. I’ve expanded my social circle, and this has helped me open new, unexpected doors. I appreciate whom I’ve connected with right now, but I wished I took the time to connect to even more people and treat races just like another conference or networking event. You may never know who you can meet along the way, or how you might end up supporting or helping each other.
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner