Becs Gentry’s Best Running Advice
Try these tips on the road or Tread to become a stronger runner.
By Colleen Travers•
Whether you’re a newbie runner or a seasoned pro, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to chasing the perfect run. And while you definitely need to incorporate strength training into your routine, as well as make some time for yoga each week, Peloton instructor Becs Gentry has gotten loads of other advice over the years that have helped her become an accomplished runner. Here, she shares some of her top picks so you can have your best running year yet.
Listen to Your Body
“Not just on race day, but every day,” says Becs. “Your body gives you very clever signs, and one thing I have learned is that you can’t run through pain. If your body is telling you it's bothered, take your foot off the gas, rest and listen to what it's saying.”
If you’re unsure of the difference between uncomfortable and downright painful, there are a few red flags to watch for, says Vernon Williams, M.D., a member of the Peloton Health & Wellness Advisory Council and founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California. “‘Good’ soreness that one may experience after a workout versus pain is important to understand,” he says. “If your discomfort is moderate to severe in intensity and can be described as sharp, burning or aching, this is your brain trying to tell you something.”
You may need to seek medical attention for localization of the pain (as opposed to feeling sore all over if you’re just starting to run regularly), swelling, numbness or tingling, loss or limited range of motion, inability to bear weight on your legs and, most importantly, any symptoms that don’t improve over a period of rest and recovery.
Learn to Run Slow
While you should do speed work a few times a week if your goal is to get faster, not every workout needs to be a hard one, according to Becs. “Doing steady, slower runs are great for building endurance, especially for tired legs that have been doing a lot of training,” she says. Take a break from speed work and interval training, and try an outdoor fun run with the Peloton App or an endurance or recovery run on the Tread, which are usually longer runs at a slower, sustained pace.
Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight
It can be frustrating to get into a new routine and feel like you’re not making any progress, but being patient can prevent injury. “Changes in your ability levels won’t happen immediately,” Becs says. To see improvement and do it safely, abide by the 10 percent rule: Never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of what you did the previous week.
And keep in mind that more isn’t always better. You need rest days to help you recover. “Even professional runners take rest days, and it doesn’t make you lazy nor will it stop your progress,” Becs says. “Rest days allow your body to catch up with itself and adapt to your training.”
Learn to Run Without Accessories
“If you can only run with music, I encourage you to try to run without it,” Becs says. “Adding inhibitors like this can give us excuses not to run [say, when your headphones run out of battery power halfway through], when the basis of running should be solitude of the mind and the freedom motion gives you.” You don’t have to do it for every run, but get into the habit of occasionally turning the music off, leaving the watch at home (or at least not using your GPS) and just running to enjoy the miles while increasing your mental stamina at the same time.
Ready to test out this expert running advice? Join Becs for a run on the Peloton App!