So, you’re interested in beginning your running journey? But you don’t know where to start? No more excuses because we have you covered! We’ll get you from your couch to a 5k plan in no time! Take a look at these top tips for beginning a running routine.
Invest in good running gear
Hitting the road requires more than a pair of your favorite sneakers. In order to reduce injuries and increase comfort, you need to invest in running shoes. You will also need comfortable, sweat-wicking training clothes. Stick with lightweight pants, shirts and shorts that are specifically designed for fitness activities. If you have the funds, use technology to track your progress. Activity fitness tracking watches are a great way to keep you motivated and track your progress. With a good piece of technology you will be able to track the distance you have run, how many steps you have taken and your heart rate. This kind of information will keep you motivated as it tracks your progress in real time which will help you set realistic goals and optimize your running performance.
As a new runner, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself when it comes to running longer distances. Break down your running into intervals and keep them as short as you need to in the beginning. You don’t need to feel guilty walking between intervals – this allows your body the time to adjust to the extra exertion. After some time, you will be able to lengthen your running sections and reduce your walking time. You can start this by alternating between 2 minute jogs and 2 minute walks. Start to increase your intervals by one minute every workout until you are confident to run the entire stretch without having to walk.
Allow for recovery time
You may feel like your first run was a breeze and you’ll feel ready to head out again in the next few hours! That’s excellent, however, you should try to wait 24 hours before attempting another run. Your body needs the rest so it can recover from the session. Your body needs to adapt to the new demands placed on it and your muscles and bones need to be ready for the next run. This is the best way to avoid injury and allow your body the time to adjust to your new lifestyle. Be kind to yourself.
Cross training is key
Our hearts enjoy variety, and by doing different kinds of exercises, you reduce the stress that running places on your spine and joints. Try out some cross training classes, or head to the gym for some strength training. You will feel refreshed and revitalized when your body begins getting used to performing.
Safety Tips for beginners
Now that you have some insight into where you should begin – here are some safety tips for hitting the open road. Sticking to a running schedule requires the proper fuel. Be sure to stay well hydrated while running – and drink water before, during and after your run. Don’t put your headphones on. If you are running in the streets and aren’t used to your path, headphones may distract you from what is in front of you. Many new runners experience a side stitch when they begin. This is normal but is something you can avoid. Avoid eating solid food for about 2 hours before you take to the road and drink only small quantities of ware. When a side stitch does strike, allow yourself a break, Be calm and stay relaxed – focusing on your breathing. Don’t start running again until the pain subsides – again, be kind to yourself and your body. You are adjusting to a new lifestyle and it takes time.