Health Fitness

How to start running: 15 things you need to know

With more people wanting to lose weight or get in shape, running has exploded in popularity over the past decade with 42 million regular runners, according to a report from Runners USA. Running is a great exercise with many benefits including weight loss, strengthening your cardiovascular system, and greater happiness by relieving stress.

Get started running armed with these simple tips – you’ll increase your run from minutes to miles, whether you’re a beginner or getting fit.

Set realistic goals.

As a beginner, you should first write down some short-term goals that you can easily achieve. Put them in the refrigerator to remind them. They can be as simple as “I’ll be exercising for five more minutes today.” Take advantage of these small victories first to get a sense of accomplishment before setting long-term goals. Later, as you advance in the race, and to challenge yourself, set long-term goals that you can achieve. One day you may find yourself running a 5k, 10k, or 13.1 half marathon.

Start with the right shoes.

For a sport that relies on the health of your feet, a quality pair of running shoes is the most important equipment you will need. Deciding which shoes are right for you can seem overwhelming, but visit an athletic store where they have specialist staff trained to analyze your running form and recommend the best running shoes for your style. A reasonable price for a good pair of running shoes will cost between $ 75 and $ 100. Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

Get the right clothes for running.

While you don’t need to spend a lot of money on running clothes, it is important to buy the right clothes. Cotton t-shirts and shorts will become heavy when wet from sweat, which can cause painful skin irritations. Invest in running clothing made from 100% polyester or similar synthetic materials that absorb sweat and keep you more comfortable. Women should always wear a supportive sports bra to avoid permanent sagging of their breasts.

Feed your body.

Running will help you burn 400 calories or more per hour. But to have or maintain a fit body, you must replace them with healthy foods. “Your pre-run snack should be a sugar boost, like a banana, an energy bar or an energy drink, says Coach Edwards. Running on an empty stomach is not good for your body nor does it make running fun.

Hydrate before running.

Beginners should pay attention to what and how much they drink before, during and after exercise. Staying hydrated is critical to your running performance and, most importantly, to preventing heat-related illnesses. Drink water frequently throughout the day. “The general rule of thumb is to multiply your body weight by 0.6 to determine the amount of water in ounces you should consume each day to keep your tissues healthy and injury-free,” says Coach Edwards. Dehydration in runners can cause fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramps.

Stretch before and after your run.

Some research suggests that static stretching of cold muscles can cause injury. “Loosen cold muscles with a slight stretch of the quads, hamstrings, and calves to avoid leg cramps, hamstring pulls, and other common running injuries. Hold each stretch for 15-25 seconds. Add easy jumps, a sprint run. five minutes or a walk, “says Elizabeth Edwards, a high school track and field coach and a nine-time marathon runner. Refresh yourself in the same way to help maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints and prevent tight muscles, which can cause injury and ineffective forms.

Motivational music is great.

While some runners find music distracting, many runners believe that music gives them an advantage when they turn up the volume on their tunes. “The research is mixed on the subject, but I use my music playlist to control my distance. One day of the week I run without music to focus on my form,” says Coach Edwards. Other runners enjoy listening to motivational books, podcasts, or speeches to pass the time. Try what works best for you.

Start slowly.

While you may feel like you can run a good distance pretty fast, start with 20-30 minutes (your body will be amazed at how long it feels!). Don’t overdo it. Give your body a chance to adjust to this new activity. Gradually increase your distance with a walking and running plan until your endurance improves. Try to increase your career by 10 percent each week. You should be able to run and carry on a conversation without getting out of breath. As you begin to feel stronger, run more, and walk less, the distance will naturally increase. Ultimately, this will help you feel better and stay injury free.

Think about your shape.

When starting out, it is normal to feel uncomfortable during the first few weeks of running, even if you have run in the past and are starting over. Begin each running workout with a good running form in mind; ensure that:

– The head is balanced on the shoulders and focused forward.

– Your shoulders are relaxed to allow your lungs to expand.

– The arms measure around 90 degrees and swing like a pendulum from the shoulders.

– Hands are relaxed and do not cross your navel while your arms swing

– The hips are below the shoulders and stabilize the legs as they move under the body.

– The feet land with short, light and quick steps below the hips

Decide where to run.

If you choose to run on a treadmill, its surface is stable and there are no concerns about the weather. But, like many runners, you may have to walk out your front door and rush out to change scenery. Running on sidewalks or roads is generally safe. But if you have to race on the road, run in front of traffic so you can react to distracted drivers. Wear bright or reflective clothing to improve visibility, especially before dawn or dusk. Drivers may not always see you, especially at night. School tracks are ideal places to start running as they are flat with no traffic and four laps around most tracks equals one mile. Many tracks are available to the public in the evening or on weekends.

Running is safe.

Whether you are running near a police station or near a high crime area, you should always think about safety first. You need to be confident in your runs so you will be well enough to run another day. Take the necessary precautions with a cell phone, carry identification with your name and phone number, and avoid unlit or isolated areas. Remember to alter or vary your career paths to avoid stalkers. Be very careful when using headphones because you are less likely to hear a person approach you. Consider running with a friend or dog. The most important thing is that you trust your intuition and avoid situations if you are unsure. If you think a situation does not feel “right”, run in another direction.

Track your progress.

As you get stronger, start measuring your run by time and distance. There are easy-to-use running apps that track your time, distance, and calories burned. Keeping track of your career will help you stay motivated and you will see your progression.

Give it a break.

Now that you are running, listen to your body. In most cases, some muscle aches and pains are expected for a few days, especially in the quadriceps and calves. Pain that is persistent or worsens when walking or running are indicators that you may be pushing too hard. Back off a bit and you will continue to improve without injury. Rest is necessary for your muscles to repair and strengthen. “Depending on their fitness level, beginning runners should start by resting every other day,” according to Edwards.

Reward your efforts.

After a week of workouts, reward yourself for all your hard work with your favorite food, drink, or buy a running-themed graphic tee to wear to your next run. It will motivate you for the next week.

Sign up for a race.

Once you feel better about your endurance, sign up for a 5K race. It’s a great way to add that extra motivational boost while giving back to help raise money for the nonprofits of your choice. Signing up is easy online.

Many people love or hate running. Try running, it can change your life. Hopefully these running tips will get you started and make it fun. But the best advice is to fight negative thoughts and keep moving forward. Once you get past that difficult barrier, the rewards will really be more satisfying.

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