By Erin Johnson
Let's be honest, running is very different for the men than it is for us. We have to worry about everything from Sports Bras, wider hips, changes after having a baby, and our monthly friend. Here are some of the tips that I have found to be helpful during my years as a runner.
1. Find your sports bra and replace every six months.
This is something that I really didn't think about much. This last Cross Country season I noticed that my pectoral muscles were very sore. I was using my favorite bra, the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer, that I purchased four years ago. I bought a new model of the same bra and the pain went away. The retention system in Bras are like shoes, with impact they can get worn out.Every once and a while I will wear just a generic sports bra and I can feel it not being supportive enough. This is just emphasizing the importance of getting a quality bra.
2. Running with ‘Aunty Flow’ just go with the flow.
My tips for dealing with ‘Aunty Flow’ are varied. There are some anecdotal evidence that say running helps reduce the cramping, and I have found this to be true in my running. I generally cut down on the intensity and increase mileage during this time. I do this because I feel tired and this motivates me to get out the door more. Just give yourself a break on these days. Our hormones can make it harder for us to do what we really want to, so I try to plan my races to be about a week before Aunty shows up to get the maximum potential out of my run.
3. Figure out if you are a chafer.
This one is very straight forward. If you chafe, look at a product like Body Glide to prevent it. I know that if I wear a tank top and sports bra, that the tank and my arm don't like each other very much. Because of this, when I go out for a run with a tank top, I apply Body Glide to my usually affected areas. The one race I did not do this, I got super bad abrasions.
4. Find fellow female runners.
If you can find a group that is mostly women you can ask the questions that guys hate to answer. I love my all girls runs because we talk about things like bras, how to deal with 'Aunty Flow', and what the most comfortable tights are. My favorites are the Oiselle jogging in black.
5. Remember to work your hips in strength training.
This is something that men should do more often as well. As a runner, I find that we are not the best at keeping up with strength training. For us women, this could be the kiss of death for being able to run distances. I personally have been guilty of this. Here is a quick workout you can do to help without needing a gym.