Kayla Runs Happy

A NY Runner always seeking to run happy :]

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So I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding running and cross country. I’m so happy that a lot of you are so excited about joining your school’s XC team! I really wish I had time to answer all of your personal questions, but I just don’t. Lucky for you, I have a WHOLE ENTIRE PAGE dedicated to answering questions about running! 
Tips from the one and only…me 🙂

One of the things about running is that you’re ALWAYS pushing yourself to your limits, and sometimes past them. I suggest mixing up your running workouts in order to build endurance, speed and strength! Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Run hill repeats. Find a steep-ass hill and run up it..over and over again. It doesn’t really matter how fast you go, as long as you KEEP GOING. It’s important to push yourself,  because part of running is learning how to put up with tired legs and sore muscles!
  2. Fartlek training. Basically during your run, jog for 5 minutes, then sprint for 15 seconds. After your spring, go right back into jogging. Repeat this until you reach 30 minutes.
  3. Strides. These can be done before/after your run. Mark out 100meters or so and sprint it. Jog back to where you started, and do it again until you reach 4 to 5 times. (This helps with speed at the beginning of races.)
  4. Strength training. You’ll need to build up those muscles in your legs! I suggest this POP Pilates video for calves and thighs. 
  5. CORE. The fastest runners have insanely strong core muscles. This means you not only need to build muscle in your legs, but also your core, or “abs”. Check out Gain Fitness to find workouts to target this area.
  6. Arms. Strong arms also benefit runners. Start doing push-ups and use the Gain Fitness website to find upper body workouts!


This list was made by Steph, not me. Go check out her blog!

These links are pulled from everywhere: LiveJournal, Active.com, RunnersWorld and beyond. I found them useful when I was beginning running, and I hope other beginners will, too. This is not a full, comprehensive list of “everything about running ever,” but I hope to shed some light on good places to look for information for beginners.

Good Places for Beginning Runner Q&A

Beginners Running Q&A Blog

Forum for Beginning Runners (RW)

Runners Community on LiveJournal

General Advice

“Newbie” Advice (by supermanz)

Breathing Tips for New Runners

Basic Gear for Beginning Runners

27 Ways to Run Better Every Day

Running Basics Explained

Base Training Explained

Stride Rate and Length, Explained

How to Find Good Form (Midfoot striking)

Training Plans

Couch-to-5k Plan

Free RW Training Guides

Hal Higdon’s Training Plans

Coaching by Pfitzinger

“The Healthy Runners Marathon Training Plan” by LiveStrong

Injury Prevention

How to Avoid Injury (RW)

Injury Diagnosis

How Injury Happens/How to Avoid It

Barefoot Running

General Discussion on Barefoot Running – What and Why?

Article on Barefoot Running (Science Daily)

Finding “Barefoot Shoes”

Barefoot Running University

Minimalist Running

Fun/Useful Stuff

What to Wear for Runners


Free Workout Mixes by Podrunner


Additional tips from Vivian 🙂

Step 1: Put on some shoes.

Step 2: Open the door.

Step 3: Go!

Some other steps that might be useful…

  • Run for a reason. Whether it’s distance or time or to clear your mind of all the crap that happened during the day. Do it for a purpose, and don’t forget that purpose.
  • Push yourself. Do a little better every day. This doesn’t mean you have to increase time or distance every day. Just improve your mindset a little day by day and you will the PR’s will come.
  • Save a little energy. There is absolutely no point in hurting yourself so much that you can’t drag yourself out of bed tomorrow to do it all over again. Toe the line between possible and impossible; keep your sights on the incredible, and some day it’ll be here.
  • Wear the right thing. Running makes you sweat, and sweat, although sexy, can also hinder your progress. You want wicking material (ie spandex, polyester). You also want good shoes. Not $200 shoes, but not $10 Target shoes either.
  • Write down your progress. It’s so much more motivating if you have a record of how far, literally, you’ve come. Anything you to do help you reach your goals is upward trend.

You’re out the door, what now?

  • Focus on your breathing. Every living thing is breathing. Your lungs are breathing, the trees around you are breathing, even houses breathe. Breathing is natural. Focus your energy on inhaling and exhaling to fuel your muscles with oxygen.
  • Plan beforehand. One of the worst feelings in the world is to be partway through a planned run and feel (1) like you have to poop, (2) like you have to pee, or (3) like you’re breathing sandpaper. Avoid this problem by pooping, peeing, and drinking water before going on the run. Trust me, just do it.
  • Take a break if you need it. I do it. Marathoners do it. Everyone does it.

Okay, back from the run, riding the high…

  • Stretch. Your muscles are warm now, and it’s a good time to stretch. Calves, hammies, quads.
  • Chocolate milk is the best recovery drink. So everyone says, and I haven’t done any research on this, but it’s worked for me.
  • Smile! Exercise makes people happy. Other people see it on your face, and they’ll be happier too.
Running (Training Plans) from Ela!
  • The 5K ☞ Prepare to race this classic distance with a training program that carefully balances both mileage and speedwork. 
  • The 10K ☞ Most runners considering the 10K already have the miles under their belts to compete adequately in the distance. The Cool Running training program enhances that endurance while sharpening the pace through speedwork. 
  • The Half Marathon ☞ The 21K distance provides a challenge beyond the popular 10K while allowing for more flexibility than marathon preparation. Our 12-week training program will get you ready. 
  • The Marathon ☞ As more and more runners turn to the marathon to prove their running mettle, a sensible training program is more important than ever for building safely to peak performance. 
  • Speedwork for Beginners ☞ A speedwork program for beginning runners.
  • Speedwork for Intermediate Runners ☞ A speedwork program for beginning runners.
  • Speedwork for Advanced Runners ☞ A speedwork program for advanced runners. 
  • Speedwork for Competitive Runners ☞  A speedwork program for competitive runners.
  • Get a running app. Every smart phone has at least one available for free. Guessing your pace is isn’t going to cut it if you’re counting calories or training for a marathon.
  • If you’re running marathon length races, a break during the first mile or two is the most important.
  • Pace yourself. It doesn’t matter if there are 50 people ahead of you or 50 people behind you. Don’t judge yourself by their standards. You have your own pace and it works for you.
  • Pay attention to your breath. Inhale left foot, exhale left foot.
  • Forget yogic breathing. It doesn’t apply here. In and out through your mouth.
  • No matter how much you think you sound like Vader, you breathing aren’t nearly as loud as you think you are. Don’t hold back. If you don’t get enough oxygen, your muscles fail.
  • Don’t slam your feet on the pavement. Keep it as light as possible. If you’re on a treadmill, the entire gym shouldn’t be able to hear it.
  • If you can’t figure out if you’re a mid-foot striker, heel striker or toe striker, it doesn’t really matter. Unless your legs are killing you, just keep going. If you focus too much on your legs, you’re probably going to eat it.
  • Run against the traffic.
  • Only put a headphone in one ear, you want to hear a car before it makes you roadkill.
  • Ladies, loop your headphones through your sports bra. Fellas, run it under your shirt. If you’re going shirtless, hook the extra cord up in the armband so it doesn’t bounce around and hit you in the face.
  • Make a playlist before you go. Don’t rely on shuffle. Get a good selection of high bpm songs, or something that will make you angry/excited. You don’t want to pause and let your heart rate/stride falter while you try to skip all your Death Cab for Cutie songs.
  • Take rest days.
  • Mind over matter. Your legs don’t really hurt that badly. Yes, you can breathe. Keep going.
  • But listen to your body. If you legs are honestly giving out, head home.
  • Hydrate but don’t water log.
  • If your endurance is terrible, work it up with stationary bikes or cardio classes. Get your aerobic ability and actual fitness level up.
  • Stretch your calves with toe raises. Rock back on your heels and bring your toes up a few times before you run to reduce shin splints.
  • Strength train. You’ll get less shin splints as you build up the muscles in your legs.
  • Find good sneakers and pay good money for them. You can get all your other gear for cheap, but go name brand and take time to find a shoe that works for you. Some podiatrists will even fit you for what type of shoe you should wear.
  • Stick reflective tape to your heels if you run at night and bring a flashlight so you don’t turn an ankle.
  • Pay attention. Be alert. Don’t get hit by the train that runs through traffic near the Fens. Run as if no one sees you. Make it your responsibility to keep yourself safe.

What an awesome compilation of tips!

I don’t normally reblog too much, but this is awesome!


Author: kaylarunshappy

I am a 23 year old New Yorker. I am a runner! When I'm not running I love reading, being outside, hiking, going to the gym... I am currently a Master's student studying Public Administration and should have my degree by May 2016.

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