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Krissy Schulze ran  her first half marathon in 2012. She’s since completed three full marathons and 21 halfs in 14 states. She’s also ran the Katy 82 as part of a six-man team. Krissy’s ran to Wentzville IHOP from Warrenton three times. The first time to see if she could, the second time in training, and the third to support a fellow runner.

GOING THE DISTANCE OR JUST CASUALLY GOING – Every runner has the story of why they started running and each one is different. Some runners never run a race but run daily, some runners run the race and never run again, and others run the race, fall in love with the finish line and look for the next race. Which runner do you want to be? If you are wanting to run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon then you need a training program to help get you ready. I have used Hal Higdon’s training program for my half’s and full’s, just goggle the race you are wanting and training program. There are many options to choose from so pick the one that suits your goals and timeline.

CLOTHING & SHOES – The clothing you wear during a run depends on the temperature; I always dress for 15-20 degrees warmer than actual temperature because I warm up quickly. In the winter, I pull out the gloves, hats, and gators for single digit days. The shoes you wear to run should feel good on your feet, these are a very important piece to the puzzle. Go to a running store and try the shoes on, they normally have a treadmill and will allow you to go outside to run in the shoes, do it! Don’t make this decision by asking others and just going with what they say. Everyone is different and you want to make sure the shoes are right for your feet. I have a pair for outside road running, trail running and a pair for treadmill running, it is a good rule of thumb because all the surfaces are different and your feet might feel better in a different shoe with different surfaces. Shoes are like tires, when the tread is worn buy new ones! I like to get a new pair every 500-600 miles and I track my mileage on the Runmeter app, you can put in the shoes for each run and then retire the shoes when you get a new pair.

OUTDOOR vs. TREADMILL RUNNING – Which one works best for you? I love outdoor running, nothing beats fresh air, sun shining and natural hills to climb. Running outside does take a little planning-what time to go, what to wear, where to run. Make sure if you are running at night you have reflective gear or a chest light so traffic can see you. I don’t like to wear ear buds while running because you can’t hear what is going on around you. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings! I take pictures of license plates or people after they pass me twice.  If they pass me again, I send those pictures to my husband. Treadmill running is a great option for those with little ones, allergies, or no place to run safely outside. I have found that the type of treadmill does matter, I like to use one at KO KnockOut Fitness treadmills because they are made by TRUE Fitness. The TRUE treadmills are awesome, I love that they have different programs and options that allow you to go uphill and downhill! It is as close to outdoor as you can get on a treadmill. And they are quiet so you can use those ear buds not on full blast for all the shows you watch while running.

BREATHING – This is important in every aspect of life but if you can control your breathing while running you can control it anytime! I know that a lot of people like to use ear buds and listen to music while running but I suggest not to, the first reason is because it can throw off your breathing. We like to try to breathe to the beat of the music and if you are doing that while running, it will be harder. For the first few runs, try to go without the music and focus on your breathing, taking slow controlled breaths, even when running gets tough. I like to use the 3:2 method, 3 counts in & 2 counts out when I am on a casual or long-distance run; for shorter or sprinting runs I like to use the 2:1 method, 2 counts in & 1 count out. If you feel out of breath, slow your pace and place your hands on your head.

RUNNING INTO SORENESS – Aches and pains will come with running but making sure to stretch before and after every run will help to reduce this issue. The arms/shoulders get worn out when running because they are doing the same motion consistently, I like to make sure that my form is correct by pulling my shoulders back and down (proud chest). If the soreness in the arms is bad, I like to let my hands go down my sides, slow my pace and just give the upper body a good shake, roll out the shoulders and neck. If the legs get sore in the middle of a run, slow way down and shake those out, it will help push that extra bit to finish. At the end of the day, I like to put my legs up the wall to help with the soreness and many other things. Try it out.

COMMUNITY – One thing I know about runners is we LOVE talking about running and bringing new runners into that community. Find a run club, I am part of the TRUE run team and get active with friends. That is the BEST way to get through any challenge in life, find friends and sign up for races together and train together. TRUE run team is a great one to use for helpful tips and tricks from other runners.