6 Tips for Brand New Runners
Running is something that almost everyone can do, but that doesn’t make it easy! Therefore, here are six tips on how to break into the sport of running.
Warm and cool down
As a beginner, this is extremely important, however, commonly overlooked. But by doing some dynamic stretching and three minutes of walking before, and the same amount of both afterward, it will not only make your present run more enjoyable, but will better prepare your body for the next one.
In the beginning, choose a flat paved path and walk 30 minutes per day for several days. Do this for three weeks before actually starting to run. This will toughen up your ankles and knees so that they get used to the additional stress.
Then gradually start to include running into your program at the rate of 15 to 60 seconds of running every two to four minutes of walking. As your body adapts, start running more and walking less until you are exclusively running.
Minimize injury and discomfort
Not having the proper footwear or trying to run too soon on an uneven surface is a recipe for injury. Before running, be sure to get fitted with a good pair of running shoes preferably from a running store. Avoid buying online as they may not fit properly.
Women should invest in a sports bra made for running that gives them good support regardless of their breast size. For both men and women, purchase running clothes made from a good wicking material. Check the seams and make sure they are covered; otherwise it can cause painful chafing.
The talk test
To know if you are running at the right speed, use the talk test. While running, you should be able to carry on a broken conversation or recite the Pledge of Allegiance if running alone. If you can’t, then you are running too hard. Slow down!
Mix in other activities
Running is a great sport, but if that is all you do, the constant repetitive action takes its toll on your lower body. Mix in some other activities such as yoga, Pilates, biking, pool exercises, etc. Not only does it give you some variety and prevent boredom, but it uses other muscles and joints and takes some of the pressure off the ones you use when running.
Set a goal
We all must work toward something. Otherwise, we don’t know if we are making progress or not and will soon lose interest. Make your goal something definitive, such as reducing your run time by a certain number of minutes.
Track your progress using something as simple as a stopwatch all the way up to one of the new fitness trackers which measures more than just time.
Use these tips to not only improve your enjoyment of running, but to also reduce the risk of injury.
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