Running For Beginners
Running has got to be one of the easiest and most practical ways to stay fit. However, for those who are not really keen on performing any physical activity other than lying on the couch all day long, running can be quite stressful. For some, starting to run can be very challenging. Sticking to a certain running program can be twice as difficult. For absolute beginners, finding the right running program you can stick to is as important as finding the right motivation to start running. Here is your ultimate guide to get you running for health and fitness.
Choose A Running Program That Fits Right Into Your Lifestyle
It makes perfect sense to choose a running program that fits right into your lifestyle. You do not want to run when you know that it can interfere with other aspects of your life. What this means is that you will have to be clear about your priorities.
Most beginners find 5K running programs to be perfect. It is not too demanding as a half-marathon or a marathon program. You should still be able to perform many of your other tasks while training for this run. If you want to push yourself to the limit, then a half-marathon or a marathon running program should provide you with the right impetus.
Be Clear About Your Goals
Your running program should help you decide what goals to set. Goals are your targets. They provide you with the direction you need. Moreover, goals give you a yardstick upon which you can measure your progress later on. These can also help you stay motivated so you will find yourself enjoying every running activity that you have.
Always think about your principal reasons for starting to run. For some it could be because they want to wear a particular pair of jeans they’ve been yearning for so long. For others, it could be a self-challenge to run 5 miles. Whatever it is, your goal should give you the direction in your running program.
All goals have to have a time element to them. This will help you work with urgency and provide a more objective evaluation of your progress. For instance, aiming to run 5 miles nonstop is meaningless if you don’t put a time element to it. Instead, you should aim to run for 5 miles nonstop within 2 months. This means you are giving yourself only 2 months to accomplish your goal. Put on your stability running shoes and hit the road.
Create A Plan
Now that you have a goal in mind, it is time to think of the more specific ways in which you can accomplish your goals. For example, if your goal is to run 5 miles nonstop, then you may want to think of how you can approach this goal in a more realistic way.
More than two-thirds of runners love to use a mobile app to track their running progress. This gives them an idea of where they are in their running program. Only a half of these app users will want to share their running progress on social media, however. Others would like to incorporate music into their running activities. Almost the same number of individuals prefer to run in the early parts of the morning.
The point here is for you to determine the things that will make your runs more enjoyable. Would you want to run with a friend? How about running with your dog? Would you prefer to run at night? These are some of the things you might want to consider in planning your runs.
A good running plan will be to train three times a week. For the first two training sessions, aim to run for about 20 to 30 minutes. On the third training session, aim for a longer run. You can go 40 minutes up to 1 hour. In between these running sessions, you can cross-train or rest. How fast should you run? Running at a comfortable conversational pace is always a good pace to start. From here, you can pick up the pace once you’re ready.
Learn The Correct Running Form
Whether you’re running to compete or running for fun, it is important to always observe the correct running form. Everything starts with the correct position of the head. Most of us always look at our desktop computers at a downward angle. This means our chin is a lot closer to our necks than usual. This is not the best position for us to breathe with greater efficiency. Hence, you should learn to look straight, holding your head up high so you will be opening your airways more.
In our normal lives, we often slouch. We draw our shoulders forward until we have that hunchback appearance. The correct running form requires you to straighten your back, including your shoulders. The same is true with the swinging of the arms. They should swing in a very natural manner as if you’re walking, but at a brisk pace.
The hips and pelvis should be upright. They should help in the more even distribution of body weight on the lower extremities. The movement of the legs and feet should be midway between a butt kick and a high knee. For most newbies, finding the sweet spot often takes time.
As for the feet, some land with their toes striking the ground first. There are also those that strike the ground with their heels first. It doesn’t matter which one you will strike first as long as it doesn’t affect your balance and stride. What you should focus more on is how you lift your feet off the ground. They should scuff the ground as you pick up the pace. If you find yourself stomping on the ground, you should try to quicken your pace.
Try The Run-Walk Method
Seasoned runners always adhere to the Run-Walk Method to further improve their race times. If they can benefit from this technique, then newbie runners should, too. Contrary to what many people may have in mind, the technique doesn’t entail walking as a means of resting or as alternative activity when you’re tired. Instead, walking is part of the running program.
For instance, beginners can start with a 10 to 30 second run followed by 1 to 2 minutes of walking. Throughout the running session, the runner will observe these brief walking and running periods. What this accomplishes is that it is less stressful for the newbie runner. The method also minimizes the risk of injury. For those who are already seasoned runners, adhering to the Run-Walk Method can help improve endurance and power. The technique allows for better recovery times for the muscles.
Work Out On The Treadmill
You do not need to run on the trail every time you train. You can also hit the treadmill. When working out on the treadmill, it is best to start with a 3-minute jog. After the 3 minutes, increase the treadmill speed by 1 MPH. Run at this pace for another 3 minutes. You can then hit the treadmill at a fast run for about 2 minutes. Follow this up with an easy 1-minute jog. Perform this fast run-jog cycle about 5 times. This should get you started on your running program on a treadmill.
Integrating running into your life should not be that difficult. Adhering to these tips can help.