Before you strap on your running shoes and hit the pavement for your first time, there’s a few things you should carefully consider. Starting a running regime without proper preparation can lead to injuries, discomfort, and health problems.
If you’re not currently an active person, your body simply won’t be ready to start running right away! Running’s an intensive activity, and you need to ease into it. Let’s look at ten considerations and important tips for beginning runners.
1. Start Slowly
Don’t go from zero to one hundred right away. What I mean by this is, if you haven’t gone running in a long time (or at all) then your joints and muscles need to adjust.
Start out at a slow jog, or, if that puts too much strain on your legs, a brisk walk. Once you’re comfortable at these paces, you can move into running.
2. Get Yourself Fitted
Running pants and shirts might not be an absolute necessity, but you should make sure you get some properly fitted running shoes. Going for long jogs in shoes that don’t conform to the shape of your foot can leave you with lasting injuries.
3. Cross Training Is Important
If you do nothing but run, you’ll soon find your exercise regime boring. Not only that, but your legs will be disproportionately strong compared to the rest of your body (not to mention sore.) Keep the rest of your body in check – do some upper body workouts in between run days.
4. Stay mobile after a workout
This isn’t to say keep highly exerting yourself. But, try not to flop down in front of your TV or computer right after a run. Chances are your legs will stiffen, and you’ll find recovery to be much slower.
5. Don’t be overly ambitious
You’re just beginning on this journey! Don’t set your goals too high. It’s not wise to set your first running goal to be 20 kilometers – you’ll only be disappointed. Start with what you know you can accomplish – and then set the bar a bit lower, just in case.
Once you’re sure of your capabilities, you can begin t push yourself harder. Always remember, you can briskly walk in between running as you start out.
6. Make it fun!
Running doesn’t have seem like a chore! Bring along some music that invigorates you. Take different routes, so you can see different scenery. Bring a running buddy. There are lots of things you can do to make the running experience more enjoyable.
7. Downtime is important
This is particularly true for beginners. If you don’t give yourself ample resting time between runs, you’ll overwork yourself. This can lead to fatigue, strained muscles and joints, and long-lasting injuries that nobody wants to deal with. Take it easy!
8. Switch up your routines
You can juggle different types of running for different days. On Monday, go for a sprint. On Wednesday, go for a long jog for cardio health. On Friday, go for a couple kilometers of brisk running. This way, you won’t get bored of one particular exercise regime.
9. Fuel up, and re-fuel
An hour and a half before running, you should make sure you’re stocked full of carbohydrates. They’ll provide energy for your run. Afterwards, eat a lot of protein to help repair the muscle fibers that are torn during intense workouts. Of course, ensure to maintain a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals from fruit and vegetables.
10. Stay hydrated!
It might seem excessive to bring a bottle of water with you while running – you can drink up before and after your run, right? Wrong. If you misjudge the temperature, or dress too warm, you can find yourself dangerously dehydrated. It’s very important to keep water with you on your runs.
If you’ve chosen running as part of your fitness routine, take heart, and consider these 10 tips. You’ll advance quickly, and see the benefits of running as your fitness levels improve.