two-cent running tips

After I started running, a few of my friends started running, too, but went about it totally differently. Soon, I was being told, suggestively, how great learning to land on the forefoot was, or such things. All that, however, by runners going far shorter distances, and with even less time spent running than me. I felt so glad to have read in Runner's World or Running Competitor - both great regular reads in early months of running - that it is possible for different people to have different running styles and respond differently to given techniques. (Those magazines do not always spread that message; sometimes, they rather obviously promote one style over another.) Anyway, my mentality was that I was going quite far quite fast injury free, so since nothing was broke, I wouldn't fix it. While I definitely need to improve my form, I still maintain my overall approach that we must all listen to our own bodies and try to figure out what works for us. My friend, for example, is a natural sprinter. I hate sprinting and love running as far as I can - what brings me joy, and so what seems to also give me physical strength, is to go "to those lengths".
So, obviously, these running "tips" are subjective.
These warm-ups saved me in winter (by that I mean, I had developed a slight pain in my hip flexors that went away almost immediately after beginning my runs with these warm-ups, which I do regularly now):
15-Minutes a Day to Stop Getting Injured at Marathon Nation.
I personally found that stretching after running often irritated my joints, so I stopped doing them, and now my body recovers on its own (by that I mean: flexibility returns shortly). By contrast, Haruki Murakami writes in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running that he does not warm-up but must do stretches after runs.
I didn't eat after runs (I almost always ran 11 miles a few times weekly, now 15) but did not notice much muscle growth. At some point, I intuited I needed the fueling afterward (I think I began to feel weak), and discovered hemp seed powder and super green mix - those powdered algae, seeds, etc. to be added to juice which, while certainly not as good as fresh green leaves and protein, is the only thing I can stomach and is easy enough for consistent recovery fueling. I eat a proper meal about two hours later. I also find I do not get hungry on runs, but I know some people need to eat.
When it was really hot, I tried an electrolyte powder, but found it made me queasy, so in summer I add a little lemon and Himalayan salt and honey to my water, and that is fine.
Because I live in a "transitional" country, I do not have a large selection to choose from; the ubiquitous brand here is Nike, but there are nearby countries with the French chain Decathlon, which is like the IKEA for sports. Some of their apparel has proved superior to the Nike apparel - though I need to explain that I have become quite the Nike fan, especially of the LunarGlide shoes, which I think are great beginner's trainers, because they are like having plush wall-to-wall carpet on your feet, and are probably forgiving of poor form (I ran a slow, first marathon after seven month's running, with no injuries in them).
I now wear Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 - and was really afraid I'd committed to the wrong pair, but so far so good.
Summer socks I got from H&M, but winter ones are Nike, and they compress on the soles. The Kalenji (Decathlon's running line) socks were terrible.
Buffs: great for summer and months surrounding it because when it is really hot, it is great to get a Buff wet and wear it for cooling; in cooler months, it is great to wear in the mornings as a turtle neck, and use as a wrist/sweat band when it gets hot. It is not great in winter, when it can freeze like cardboard!
In summer, I wear Nike shorts and a thin Nike T-shirt or vest. When it gets a bit colder, the shorts with a super thin Nike tank.
In autumn/fall: possibly the shorts with a long-sleeved Nike T-shirt (that seems to block out wind) with thumbholes and a buff - but mostly, tights, one or two long-sleeved Nike T-shirts with thumbholes, and maybe a buff or hat.
In winter: tights with brushed whatever on the inside (is that called the fleece effect, not sure) or Nike elements tights that are slightly water and windproof (here is where Kalenji is better - the fleecy tights were so much cheaper and as warm and dry as the Nike ones). The super thin Nike tank, the two Nike autumn technical tees and the Nike Aeroloft vest. Hat, gloves, neck baraclava if needed. I did not get winter trainers, I remember being so afraid that I would slip or that cold wind would blow in the summer LunarGlides (there are winter ones), but they were fantastic for city running, even in snow and a bit of ice.
I have a great Kalenji rain jacket (I don't know when I'd ever be able to afford a Nike one) that is good for cold, winter rain when needed.
My only problem is not having a lighter rain jacket for fall rain: I would recommend one. What I wear is the Nike Elements Hoodie, which is water resistant, but of course gets soaked in downpours.
Finally, I do have one item I qualify as gear: an OrangeMud handheld, which I think is the greatest. Since I live in said transitional country, there is no such running gear here, or if so, rarely and at prohibitively high prices, so I had to order one - and thus did hours of research to make sure the choice would be right. The OrangeMud one did not disappoint and why I've linked to it in the sidebar. It is super easy to fill and the thick band allows it to be 'worn' in more than one way - also, grooves on the bottle make it super comfortable even to carry by its top. I write this as a person who seriously doubted they could ever carry a handheld without their arms dropping off (before I knew what ultras were, which are now my goal - and which require such gear far more than 20 mile runs or marathons!) I hope this section is a to be continued...



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