Good morning! I have a treat for you guys today. It’s no secret that I love running. My husband actually used to be a Division I college cross country and track and field coach for 10+ years, so he’s got a large bucket of knowledge that he has shared with me over the years. He had to recruit running stars, make training plans, coach them through good and bad training days, and just be their life counselor! Anyway, I’ve become quite well-versed myself and there’s no time like the present for trying something new, right?!
When people ask me about running, and how I run so often or so far, it’s hard to compile my thoughts into one answer. But running does so much for my body other than just enhancing cardiovascular health. I love the boost of endorphins I get and being able to just get lost in my own thoughts. I wrote about all the things running has taught me here, but lets just keep it simple: Running has been a very important and influential part of my life.
Though the weather is usually pretty tough for runners this time of year (and the ice), this is a great time for those who are thinking about starting to run in the new year. Ed, the running specialist, was so kind to help me put together some tips for beginners who want to start running (or are thinking about it), so come tomorrow, or next week, or the new year, or whenever you want to start running, you can think about these.
1. Don’t do too much too soon
This may seem obvious, but let the build up happen. If you’ve never run before, don’t start too much too quickly. Accept that you have to build up a base slowly to prepare your body for something new. Moving too quickly before your body is ready can lead to injury or even burn out.
Start with a mixture of running and walking. For example, try 2 minutes jogging, 4 minutes walking for a total of 30 minutes, and slowly build on this.
Try to focus less on numbers but enjoy your surroundings and take note of how you feel.
2. Take care of yourself
Know that running does add some stress and impact on the body, and it’s important to take precautionary measures to make sure you stay healthy, especially when just beginning. Make sure you’re getting adequate carbohydrates before and after runs. Hydrate. Do dynamic/active stretching before as a warm up and save the static stretching for later. You can expect some soreness initially because your body may not be used to this new form of impact. Perhaps you use a foam roller or take an ice bath but give your body the attention it deserves. Fueling correctly will help minimize inflammation.
3. Set goals
Start small but set some bigger, loftier goals to work towards to. These will build your self efficacy and confidence, and show you what you have already accomplished! Some examples initially could be:
- Run 10 minutes without stopping
- Finish a 5k
- Run/walk a 10k, half marathon, etc.
- Join a local running group, or running store’s beginner training group.
Runners are typically very supportive, and it helps so much to have that group of others who can push and support you beyond what you think you are capable of.
4. Get a good pair of shoes – If you’re serious about wanting to run more often, it’s worth it to pay a little more for a good pair of running shoes (not crossfit or other shoes, but specifically, running shoes). Go to a local running store and have them fit you and match your foot type with the corresponding shoe. Not only will a good pair of shoes last longer, but they will protect your feet so you can continue to run!
5. Have fun! There are so many motivating apps out there to track your runs and activity, set goals, and track your progress. I use dailymile to track my miles, but there’s also strava, which is an interactive app where you can compete with others around you. You can get to know so much about yourself through running, and be proud that you’ve started something so great!
Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday!
Do you run? How did you start running?