Running is the simplest form of aerobic exercise. You just need a good pair of shoes and a road to get started. Some of us run just to stay in shape and get fit, while some of us want to participate in a half or full marathon. Running and weight loss are also linked and people who run regularly are able to get rid of the stubborn fat over a short period of time. While its very easy to get started but some of us find it a challenge to continue it. What if you could prepare well by focusing on some of the basic factors which will not only help to keep you off injuries but most importantly, motivated enough to keep you going. Lets look at running tips for beginners.
Choose the right running gear
Running gears used to mainly comprise of shoes but now we have many options available to improve our attire for runs. We should go for shorts/tracks and t shirts that should ideally be made of polyester and not cotton. Polyester are light material that dries quickly when we sweat unlike cotton which become heavy when we sweat. Using Polyesters can keep you comfortable especially when we go for an extra mile on our run. In addition, there are numerous fitness bands and Apps available to provide you with information such as distance, steps, calories burnt extra. Using one of these can help you keep a track of your goals and motivated.
Asses you physical fitness and dont push too much on day 1
You might get bogged down when you see people on your timeline clocking more then 6 miles in a run. But always remember that everyone had a starting point and only after being dedicated and regular, they have developed the endurance to run long distances. Even if you manage to run just 1 mile in your first run, you should pat on your back. Just remember to run regularly to see faster results. In the beginning, you need not run every day and 4-5 runs per week is good enough.
Stretching before and after run can help you to stay injury free. Starting each running with a 5- to 10-minute jog followed by stretching helps warm up the muscles sufficiently for a run. For more details on importance of stretching, please read my earlier blog post: Stretching for runners
Find a time when you can go out running regularly
Running should be a habit and we should try to do it around same time of the day, everyday if possible. There are well establish research that has proved that if we do any activity for a minimum of 21 days, it becomes a habit. If we run in morning or afternoon or even in nights, try and follow a routine to do it everyday at the same time so that after 3 weeks, your habit to run regulatory is established and you find it easier to run going forward. Having said that, morning might be a better time to get started as you encounter less traffic on road and also get to breathe a cleaner air.
Do exercises to build you core
A strong core strength does result in many positive benefits when it comes to running. Your core muscles – the chest, back, abs, and obliques – are what keeps your torso upright when you run. Core strength also significantly improves balance, meaning that you recover quickly from missteps small & large. Towards the end of long runs, when you are extremely fatigued, your form begins to suffer. Poor form not only slows you down, it also opens you up to potential injuries. For distance runners who are familiar with that lower back ache, building up core strength will help to maintain good posture, and reduce the pains that result from poor posture. Doing planks and crunches can help to further strengthen your core.
Find a running partner if you can
Having a companion is always good especially when you run. A running companion could become your source of inspiration, a coach and a friend. The comradeship developed can help you to achieve your fitness goals faster. You running partner can also help in keeping you motivated and make sure that you commit to your training.
These running tips for beginners are a good way to get started on your running/ marathon programs but the key is to stay motivated and run regularly.