Look Good Naked: The art of running


You can do Zumba, yoga, cross-fit, P90-X, and every workout you find online or in magazines; but nothing is as good for you as running. After all, it is so simple. You lace up your shoes, put on your workout clothes, throw earbuds in with a killer playlist and go.

Until a few minutes in your lungs burn, your heart is pounding and you feel like your legs can’t carry you anymore. If you’re just coming off of the couch, don’t expect to to be able to run a 5k.

For a long time, running was something I hated. I’ve always been in some kind of shape, but I would do absolutely everything but run. Yes, in high school I almost always walked the mile. I tried running so many times and would just end up feeling defeated and frustrated. I was just as fit as the people whizzing by me, what did they have that I didn’t?

Practice, for one. No one jumps up one day deciding to become a runner and is instantly great at it. You have got to train your body to become a good runner. The biggest question is, where do you start?

Intervals, intervals, intervals. Run for a bit, walk for a bit. Yes, it still counts as a run if you walk sometimes. The best way I’ve found to to this is download the Couch to 5K app, and start on week 1. You might feel ridiculous walking more than you run, but it was more than you were running before, right? You do it three times a week, and each week it gets a little bit more difficult. Within 8 weeks, you’ll be running a 5k.

The great thing about this app is that it’s realistic. You are most likely to quite running if you set some crazy goal and end up getting frustrated that you couldn’t meet it. This is the number one reason I’ve never taken well to running; I want to be good at things quickly. That won’t happen, but I will tell you after just starting to get a hang of it I am really enjoying how rewarding it is.

Eventually, you’re going to hit a wall and feel like you can’t possibly go further. Besides not giving up, I found a few tips to help you maximize your run. People have been running long enough (and far enough) that they have got it down to a science.

The number one reason you’re getting exhausted quickly is you’re probably not breathing correctly. In a Voice and Diction class this semester, I finally learned how to take a “good” breath, and consequently found my runs going stronger than ever. Breathing through your nose and out through your mouth is another key, as well as taking breaths that correspond with your steps.

Combining good posture with a slight forward lean is the ideal stance for runners. Other tips to become more efficient at running include keeping your shoulders relaxed, your hands in unclenched fists,  lifting the knees only slightly, and aiming for more frequent strides as opposed to lengthier ones.

And of course, don’t forget to always stay hydrated. Happy running!