Hellooo! Sorry this is a day late. Today I’m going to share some running 🏃 tips and advice, as well as a ‘why I run’ and my running history!
Running Tips & Advice:
#1. The two-two breathing method. This has most definitely helped me to become a better runner. My coach told me about the method. You just need to match your steps with your breathing: *step* *breathe in once* *step* *breathe in twice* *step* *breathe out once* *step* *breathe out twice* *repeat method* It helps you to breathe correctly without doing it too much or too little, which in turn will improve basically everything else.
#2. A running schedule. Our running group goes out three days a week. Monday and Tuesday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning (we only do Saturday during our 5K season—from mid-Spring to late September). On Monday we have our short, 1-3 mile run, where we focus on speed. Tuesday is a more relaxed 2-4 miles. On Saturday we focus on distance, which can range from 3 (or less) to +14 miles, depending on the experience and skill of the runner. I like our schedule a lot. It focuses on different skills, and doesn’t overwork us. Running 3-4 days a week is a pretty good number, I wouldn’t recommend running every day of the week, though. Even if it’s just one mile a day. . . I mean, I haven’t tried it but I haven’t heard good things about it either.
#3. People to run with. Having runners and friends there with you before, after, and even during your runs is socially good for you, it’s also good in other ways. They can be encouragers, as you begin and finish your run, they can give advice, they can become good friends. I love hanging out with my running team cause they’re fun to be around and run with. They encourage me, and such, as well. It also sounds fun to have friendly running competitions with friends. I don’t think I’ve ever done one with both of us doing it intentionally, but maybe someday. *shrug*
If you don’t have a running team or club near or available to you, you can gather some friends and family members who are interested in running and organize a team.
#4. Paying attention to your food consumption. Chips and anything spicy is a no-no even several hours before and after a run. They will do horrible things to your body. Pasta and bananas 🍌 are good pre-run foods. I don’t suggest having any food directly before (or a full meal several hours before) a run, unless it’s something like a small banana or granola bar. Treat yourself or your team/group to some good food a few hours after a successful 5K or other important race/run, because you deserve it! Whether you’re a runner or not, eat healthy! All of this I speak from experience (except for the banana and pasta thing).
#5. Dynamic stretches before a run and static stretches after. Losen up your muscles and body before a run with dynamic (moving) stretches! Look up some examples. Keep your muscles from tightening back up too much and stuff with static (still) stretches. Look up some examples.
Why I Run:
Running is a sport you can do anywhere. You don’t need a field, ball, or other equipment. Simply good shoes and clothes. It can be competive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can focus on long distance or speed. You can run when you’re really young, or when you’re really old. You can explore your neighborhood, surroundings, etc. while you run. It’s healthy. I think it’s fun and amazing. There are many more benefits to running.
My Running History:
Beginning: It all started somewhere in late August, a few weeks before an annual 5K organized by my church, called El Grito 5K. My brother, who was a runner before I was, asked if I wanted to run it. I was in general a pretty fast kid, and I did love running, so I was like ‘sure, why not’. At that time I could only sprint but was not involved in any track or cross country team. To get into the 5K I joined the running team my brother was on, which was one of the programs of the youth ministry partnered with our church. I had two weeks to train before the 3.1 mile run.
On the first day of my training, I ran two miles; for the first time ever, and it was torture, but worth it.
1st 5K: On the day of the 5K I did good for a beginner. My overall time was 31 minutes and 32 seconds (31:32).
2nd 5K: My second 5K was like a month after that. It was a wet, humid day. I remember some parts of it very clearly. I vividly remember much of each and every race. Which is nice. Memories. My time was 29:29.
3rd 5K: My third 5K was about a month after the second one—it was on Thanksgiving morning. That one was really fun. It wasn’t with my team, but just with my brother and dad. We had some fun together before and after the race. It was pretty cold. My time was 30:38.
Pause: By the time my running team would be having 5Ks again after winter, the virus hit. The running program was temporarily cancelled, and I eventually just stopped running overall, because I was less disciplined and less into running back then.
Running Team Project: It was in mid-summer of 2020 when the program started up again. There were no races that summer (sadly) so we organized our own. Our team wanted to run 200 miles together, so we’d each run our own miles to contribute to the 200. I ran seven miles (silly amatuer Danny-boy), but I think the most someone ran was 14 miles. This was in late August, I think.
4th 5K: In September our church hosted El Grito 5K again. It was virtual (-_-) which meant that each participant would run on their own any day, track how long they took, and then message upload it to the El Grito site. It wasn’t too bad, though, ‘cause I still ran with my team. I was pretty proud of my score, which was around 24 minutes.
5th 5K (Placer): There were no races until June, 2021. What was funny was that the race (a 5K) was just a few days after my AP test. Hehehe. Well, I ran it and it was very fun! I also got third place for my age/gender division (18 and under) and 24th overall so that was awesome! 🥉 Time: 21:09.
Half-Marathon Training: Then, training for a half marathon to be held September 11th began, sometime in early July. The training was pretty fun. I’ve missed a few days because of summer vacation stuff and life in general. It got a bit trickier in Spain, as I’m not used to mountains.
But the scenery was BEAUTIFUL! 🌄 One time while I was running, I saw two deer 🦌 on the edge of the path, and when they saw me they started running, and then ran away into the thicket 🌳, but I did get a close look at them, and it was majestic! I was also able to run ten miles at my grandparents house, and that was an awesome accomplishment.
1st Half-Marathon: The half-marathon was amazing! I did a lot better than I thought I would, and I felt really good throughout the whole thing. My results were 2 hrs and 2 mins. (I got 3rd out of 4 for my age group, or something like that—I somehow cannot find the results!) The longest run I’ve ever done.
6th 5K: On September 25th I ran another 5K (this one was also virtual *sigh*) and my score was 20:55. I got 5th place overall.
7th 5K (Placer, Record Breaker): Exactly a week later, I ran my most recent 5K. My score, a record-breaker, was 20:29. I got 6th overall, and 1st for my age/gender group (15-19)! 🥇 I ran it with my mom (my team didn’t participate).
Coming Up: I have another 5K coming up this Saturday, and I think maybe one or two others later in October or November, not entirely sure though.
And that’s I suppose all I have to share about running! I know, it’s long. That’s why I decided it into many different sections. 😉 All of this was a huge blessing and I’m grateful to several beings, including God, my coach, my parents, and my team mates. That’s all. I hope you enjoyed reading.
With God’s help,
Daniel L. Amador