Your Guide to Getting Started With Running
As we get closer to ringing in the New Year, chances are one of your resolutions is to begin your year pursuing a more active, healthy lifestyle. Maybe you signed up for that marathon later in the year to motivate you and kickstart your cardio into high gear. Running is a great way to help you live a more active life, but can be tough to get into. If you aren’t used to running for long periods of time, it is easy to get discouraged and give up. If you are training for a long distance race, but are not quite sure how to get started, follow these tips to begin your running journey in the best way possible.
As a beginner, you need to gauge your level of physical fitness. To do this, try walking for 10-30 minutes, and see how you feel afterward. It is also helpful to walk in areas with ranging slopes of incline and decline. This will help to use varying muscles in the legs, and ultimately make your legs stronger. If you can do this comfortably, you can then implement running intervals into your walking. It is important to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and consistency is key. Just keep working at it, and you’ll be hitting multiple mile runs in no time!
Pick a Quality Pair of Shoes
While running does not require an extensive monetary investment, it may be in your best interest to purchase a quality pair o running shoes to refrain from injury. Running shoes are specially designed to help your foot strike the ground properly, effectively reducing the level of shock throughout your leg. If you often feel pain after running, a good pair of running shoes could potentially alleviate that problem.
Warm Up with Body Movements
Before heading out for your run, it’s a good idea to do a quick five-minute warm up to get the blood pumping, loosen muscles, and ultimately preventing injury. The Mattock Dynamic Warm-Up is a great place to start, allowing you lubricate your joints, increase your heart rate, and get your central nervous system primed for running.
Set Reasonable Goals
You are your own best asset in determining your running ability. Understanding what you are capable of allows you to properly set your running goals. Starting off too strong and forcing yourself to run seven days a week can lead to burn out. This can also be extremely detrimental to your body if you haven’t properly acclimated to it. For beginners, start off with jogging three days a week, and increase frequency or distance as your body adjusts. Everyone’s body is different, so don’t get discouraged if you spend a few weeks at the same pace or distance. Listen to your body, and you will know when to kick it up a notch.
Focus on Maintaining Proper Form
Getting tired during running can have a consequential effect – a decrease in overall running form. Running is just as much a mental activity as it is physical. Running requires you to stay mentally sharp in order to perform at an optimal level. When running, keep these aspects in mind.
- Let your chin lead your chest if you feel your body leaning back or slumping forward
- Keep your arms low around waist-level, and relax your shoulders
- Try your best to control your breathing. This can include counting your breaths to go along with your strides so you don’t resort to gasping after a short amount of time.
Keep your Nutrition in Check
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects in keeping your body primed for running. Before heading out for your run, be sure to have a small snack with a reasonable amount of carbs, so you can properly refuel your body’s glycogen reserves. This will give you clean, sustained energy to help you push your run. After finishing your run, be sure to get some protein and fiber in your next meal, as they will help your muscles recover.
Track Your Runs
There are plenty of fancy gadgets that will help you track your runs, but if you want to keep it simple, a notebook works just as well as a FitBit or Apple Watch. Keep track of your mileage, nutrition, and how you feel afterward. It can be quite introspective to see how your progress over time while holding you accountable for the goals you set for yourself.