When starting out with running, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Whether you’ve got your first running event coming up or you would just like to start jogging on the treadmill or around the block, we have some great beginner’s tips to help make running easier for you.
You may want to get into it all guns blazing, but you’ll likely run out of puff within the first few minutes and feel like the rest of your run is a super struggle. Slow yourself down, concentrate on your technique, remember the full distance you are trying to conquer, and allow time to take in the scenery – especially if you’re outdoors!
Running doesn’t have to be horrible and hard all the time! Find a workout buddy to join you on your runs, take a dog (or borrow a friend’s dog if you don’t have one), create a super motivating music playlist to listen to, or find inspiring running routes around parks and beaches rather than trudging around the same block every time.
Arm yourself with the right gear
Your shoes are important as you want them to absorb the shock from running as much as possible, rather than your lower body. Get shoes designed for running, with plenty of cushioning and support in the right places. Find out if you have high arches, flat feet or normal feet, and ensure you have a shoe or corrective insert if necessary.
If it’s in your budget, also get some good clothing that moves with your body, allows your skin to breathe and helps to wick away sweat.
Take care of yourself
Make sure you warm up properly before running and take the time to cool down/stretch once you are finished. Sip on water throughout your training to ensure you stay hydrated, and eat a snack or meal with some carbohydrate (to replenish your energy levels) and some protein (to help promote muscle growth and repair) shortly after you get back.
If you get muscle, tendon or ligament injuries that don’t improve, consult a physiotherapist and ensure you take the time to allow the injury to heal. If you ignore injuries and niggles, they may end up worse further down the track.
Practice makes perfect
To get better at running, you need to do it on a regular basis, which means planning it into your diary and making sure you’re doing it at least three or four times a week. This means you can’t just go running when the sun is shining! You will need to find alternatives if it’s dark or raining so make sure you have a good waterproof shell jacket, a well-lit street route if you’re running in the evening, or access to a treadmill so you will stick to your schedule.
The more you run, the stronger your legs and core will get, the better your endurance will become and the easier running will feel. Start out with shorter runs or do some interval training combining by alternating between running to one lamppost, walking to the next.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – mapichai