Everyone is different though! You may be an exclusive group or partner runner or you may be a lone ranger.
My tips for running with or without others, but especially if you're alone, are:
- Someone in the group should bring a phone in case there is an emergency and 911 or family members need to be notified.
- Carry protection. It's a sucky truth but sometimes this isn't a nice world we live in. Dogs bite and bad people attack. There are many forms of defense that can be carried while running, but I usually bring along a pepper spray that has a hand strap specifically designed for runners.
- Always tell others where you will be running and approximately how long you should be out.
As far as time of the day, I usually run in the early evening, partly because my group runs at 6 p.m. and partly because that's usually when I can squeeze in an hour or two for myself. In the summer that time of the day kind of sucks because it's usually still sunny and quite muggy (where I'm located), but during the cooler months, the conditions are awesome for running. When I can, I do love running in the morning because it makes me feel good the rest of the day. I believe that it's because of endorphins as well as not having to stress about being too tired or busy and then talking myself out of doing a run all together.
My tips for running at any time of the day are no brainers:
- Wear bright and/or reflective clothing so that drivers will be aware that you're out there.
- Always hydrate before and after runs, but do some extra water drinking if you have to run during the hottest time of the day-you'll be sweating even more!
The last item I want to touch on concerning my training style is how much I actually train, because I think most people are looking for a magical formula. Unfortunately, there isn't one. It all depends on your goals, personal fitness, and schedule. For me, my goal is usually to finish a race strongly and beat myself. I've been successful in accomplishing those goals by running 3 to 4 times a week (2-3 shorter runs and one longer). When I'm not training for anything in particular but want to maintain, I run 2 to 3 times a week (moderate milage). Some training programs that I've had success with are the Couch to 5k plan, the intermediate level training plan found in Women's Running (from Runner's World), and Hal Higdon's programs.
My tips for choosing a training formula/schedule are:
- Research different plans and methods, so that you know your options and can match them accordingly to who you are as a runner and a person.
- Seek out advice from fellow runners or experts (trainers, sports physicians, ect.)
- Be flexible. If you're scheduled to run, but your body is telling you it's too tired, it's probably more beneficial to rest. Unless you've just got a case of the lazies, in which case, get your butt out there!
Do you have any tips to add? When, where, and how do you run?