Running with Ron: the Don’ts and Do’s of Running

When I started running again in 2010, I learned some of don’ts and do’s along the way I would like to pass onto those of you that are just starting to run so you don’t have to go through as much of the trial and error I went through to get where I am today. I realize not everything in this blog will work for everyone but if you can pick up one or two pieces of information which make your running experience a good one, then that is all I am hoping for.

1. Don’t think you are still in High School

As I stated in Wayland Wellness Journey Part II, I ran the 400 meter in High School and my first 5K in Levelland in July 2010 which as you may know is 5,000 meters. When I ran this 5K, my first mile was 7:28 because I was chasing everyone in front of me. Needless to say, I did not run that fast the rest of the 2.10 miles because I burned myself out running that fast. After the race I realized I was still running with a sprinters mentality instead of a distance runner’s mentality.

DO: When running in events focus on how you are feeling and your pace/time. Try your very best to run at the pace you have become comfortable with during your training not what everyone else is doing around you. Everyone has different goals and trying to keep up with them could get you in the same situation that I found myself which was jogging or walking the rest of the race. I still struggle with this from time to time but for the most part I have learned to focus on me, myself, and I.

2. Don’t run in shoes that are 12 years old.

When I tried to run in 1997 I brought a part of Nike running shoes. This attempt only lasted about a month. Then in 2009 when Deanna and I started working with our trainer Brandi, I wore those same shoes and after about a month or so my feet started hurting badly. A co-worker of mine told me that I needed to get new shoes because the support in them do not last as long as rest of the shoe.

DO: When you are doing a lot of training or events running, make sure you replace you shoes about every 6 months or rotate multiple pairs of shoes like I have recently have begun doing. I now have four pair of shoes and working towards having seven pair that I will rotate them out after 6 months of use. Also I would like for you to keep in mind that when you are rotating your shoes out to NOT throw them away but donate them to a local thrift store because they are still good shoes for the average person.

3. Don’t run in sweatpants and a jacket.

During my third 5K here in Plainview on November 2009. It was very cold so I decided to wear my sweatpants and jacket. Well, after about a mile into the race I realized layering up was not my best decision. On top of it, I pinned my bib number on my jacket and since I am so competitive I refused to stop to unpin the bib to take my jacket off which made for a very uncomfortable run the rest of the way.

DO: Spend a little extra money to purchase Underarmor type gear which is light weight, removes moister from your body and keeps you warm.

4. Don’t train or participate in event without proper nutrition.

I have learned through my Wayland Wellness journey there are three aspects of fitness one has to be mindful of, 1. Physical, 2. Mental, and 3. Nutrition. One day in 2010, I was training for the Hotter N’ Hell 100 Cycling event and I was riding 78 miles. About 65 miles into the ride I lost all power to my legs and for the next 13 miles I rode 5 to 7 miles an hour until I got home. Once I got home I dropped my bike on the ground, crawled into the house (not figuratively but literally) until reached the shower, and set there with cold water running for an hour clothes on because I was too weak to take them off. The next day I called my Wellness Coach and told her what happened and after answering her questions, it was determined that I have was not eating correctly. This meant those last 13 miles was done on will power alone and destroyed a lot of my muscle mass.

DO: Talk to a sport nutritionist to learn how to eat properly before, during, and after event runs (or cycling). This is an area of fitness that must be adjusted regularly depending on what you are training for.

5. Don’t run without protection from blisters and chaffing.

At the beginning of my running process, I was having to dealing with a lot of blisters on my feet and chaffing in some private areas on my upper and lower body. After talking to a couple of fellow runners about my issues, they gave me the ideas putting Vaseline on my feet and lower private parts and Band-Aids on my upper private parts. Since beginning doing these two things I have had little to no problems with blisters or chaffing.

DO: Buy stock in Band-Aids and Vaseline because you will using a lot of them. Since I buy so much of these products, I joined CVS Rewards program and most of the time receive discounts on these purchases.

6. Don’t run in the same direction

As I was training to run my first marathon in January 2012, I found myself confined to running in the Wayland Baptist University Laney Center indoor track due to cold weather (Thank God for this Wonderful Facility). In order to complete a mile in you need to run 11 laps. One day I was attempting to run 20 miles for the first time which was going to be 220 laps!!! I did well the first 15 miles then my left foot started hurting me really bad but I finished the 20 miles. I had been having problems with this foot for a while but I had not experienced pain like this before. I was talking to a friend of mine that is a long distance runners and I told him what I was doing with and he asked me this question, are you running the same direction the whole time? And of course I said yes. And his next question was, have you thought about running the other direction part of the time? And of course I said no. He explained that because I am running in the same direction I was putting all the pressure on my left foot each time I made a turn which for 20 miles, 11 laps each mile that was 880 turns. Once I starting running the other direction, the problem with my left foot went away.

DO: Whenever I am training on a track which is most of the time for me is either outside on WBU’s Hillard Field or in the Laney Center, I alternate my direction every three miles to insure I don’t have this type of problem ever again.

I hope for those of you that read this blog you find it useful for your training and event running.

Ron Appling,
Proud Moonjogger for Life

Ron Appling lives in Plainview, TX with his wonderful wife Deanna and son Ryne. He is 42 years RON6old and has worked for Wayland Baptist University since 2004 as the Director of Human Resources. In 2009, the title of Wellness Manager was added when he was asked to start the university’s Wayland Wellness program. Since the start of this program, Ron has lost 100 lbs in one year and has been able to maintain his weight for over three years, has assisted the university maintain a low cost of medical premiums, and helped a number of employees and their family members live healthier life styles. In order to maintain his healthy life style, Ron enjoys running, cycling, Crossfit training, and participating in a number of running and cycling in events in Texas and New Mexico. You can follow Ron healthy life style on Facebook at Ron Appling.

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