Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Quick Thoughts for New Runners

Okay, first let me say a couple of things that are obvious:

1. There are TONS of websites with advice for new runners. How to train, how to eat, what to wear, everything...... I'm not the first one to come up with the urge to jot some notes down for other runners.

2. I'm no expert. Oh I run. I run a lot. I also eat a lot of graham crackers with frosting on them and make a lot of excuses as to why I can't run today, blah, blah, blah.... So consider that I'm just a Dad living in a small town in Georgia that likes to run and that is putting his advice out for new runners to read.

Now, with all that having been said, I wanted to spit out my thoughts on a couple of things that I feel like new runners should keep in mind. If you just decided to run your first race this is for you. If you're moving from a 5k distance to a 10k or from the road to the trail I can share different insights with you. This post is really just for you guys and gals that want to feel the satisfaction of having trained for and run your first race!

Have a plan. Make sure your plan has you running realistic distances with realistic increments of time/distance to reach the day of your race. If you train too hard, too quickly you will hurt yourself. I'm sorry, it's just how it is. Number one rule that my buddy taught me is to show up to the starting line un-injured. If you injure yourself training you just defeated the purpose.

I would suggest running/walking 20 mins at a time a few times a week and increasing it over a few months to 30 and then 45 minutes. It's about getting the time on your feet at first. That's it. By the way, if you can make it 2 - 2.5 miles the week before your race you will be able to do 3.1 miles on race day. The adrenaline and excitement will carry you that last stretch.

Get good shoes. This is so important. You don't have to go to the Big Peach and buy shoes though I recommend it. Shoes there will run you about $100 - $130 but they will put you in the right shoes for your feet and your stride. Also, they will take the shoes back, period. They will take them and give you different ones if you have problems with them. No questions asked. I've worn shoes for a year and in TWO MUD RACES and they took them back.

But like I said you don't have to go to a running store. You can buy Asics or Nikes or something inexpensive and reputable for your first race. I did. I ran in Asics from a department store for a year. We'll talk after that if you need to upgrade. No problem.

Run with a buddy. I've run for many years and I still like running with my friend Matt. When we run together I train harder and I'm more disciplined. Get a friend and walk/run with them. It's safer and more enjoyable. You'll stick with it longer and you'll be happier.

That's really it, new runners. OF COURSE you have to stay hydrated and you have to use some common sense regarding safety and you have to eat right but the biggest problems I see are outlined above. People tend to not have a plan, train too hard or not enough, run in bad shoes and get demotivated and quit. If you stick with some of these basic principles for having a plan, getting some good shoes and being accountable to somebody you will do good! Let me know (if you're in Georgia) and I'll run with you sometime! : )

Happy running - Scott

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's okay if you don't like the band Red.

I did some research and looked into the lyrics of the songs from the band Red. You know, the one that people either love or hate. : )  So that it's been said, I love them. But here's what I've found. 

When I look at the lyrics of the songs across the past several years (Until We Have Faces, Release The Panic, of Beauty and Rage, Innocence and Instinct) I found a few common themes. 

1. The general theme of the band's music is dark. It's brooding and not very 'gleeful'. I think this is one reason why a certain demographic group doesn't care for this genre of music. Middle-aged, middle-class parents tend to not be a fan from my limited discussions with other people in my demographic. 

2. The lyrics are typically related to somebody in a low spot in their life that doesn't feel like they fit in or there is hope. The lyrics are also typically from the perspective of God that loves that lost person and wants to save them. 

Here's what I believe. I believe that this band is liked by young people today (much more than adults) because of the plight of a lot of teenagers now. Teenagers have always been confused, concerned and negative. Teenagers TODAY are even more-so dark and brooding and of the mindset that 'nobody understands me' or 'nobody cares for me'. THIS is what Red is trying to reach....or rather who they are trying to reach. The teens that are alone and reaching out to find hope. Red's songs give them an answer and hope. They really do. I've read the lyrics of dozens of songs and listened to 4 complete albums by Red. 

I've come to the conclusion the band isn't bad. It isn't even shallow or meaningless. It's just a band that is trying to reach a different age and personality type and me. : ) I'm glad they're connecting with those kids that I (and maybe you) can't successfully connect with. I can think of a few kids right now that we all know that maybe should be exposed to this band and their message of hope and their lyrics. 

By the way, it's ok, those brooding teenagers probably feel the same way about some of the artists you like as you do about Red. To each his own. Thank God for them all being so varied because we sure are varied in our personalities as well aren't we?